Canadian biotech company debuts new vaccine for cattle which aims to prevent E. coli O157 transmission to humans


E-coli 0157 H7 -- picture from Marler blog.

BELLEVILLE, ON, Feb. 15 /CNW/ – Bioniche Life Sciences Inc. (TSX & ASX: BNC), a research-based, technology-driven Canadian biopharmaceutical company, gave a presentation about its E. coli O157 cattle vaccine at the First International One Health Congress in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. The Bioniche presentation – by Rick Culbert, President of Bioniche Food Safety – was focused on the challenge of implementing cattle vaccination against E. coli O157 to reduce the risk of human infection.

In the One Health Congress presentation, Mr. Culbert noted that E. coli O157 is a global problem that requires a proactive solution. “The fact that the organism does not make cattle ill presents an adoption challenge in the cattle industry,” said Mr. Culbert. “At the moment, cattle producers receive no direct benefit or compensation to justify the cost of vaccination against E. coli O157. However, there is an opportunity for the cattle industry to collaborate with public health to more effectively deal with this recurring issue.”

Most strains of E. coli are harmless but some, like O157, can cause severe illness and can even be fatal when ingested by humans from contaminated meat, vegetables, other food products, or water. Human exposure and infection with E. coli O157 can result in serious health consequences, including abdominal pain and severe bloody diarrhea. In severe cases, kidney damage can occur and progress to serious complications and even death. Lingering, long-term medical conditions can persist in individuals exposed to the bacterium. These include post-infectious irritable bowel syndrome (PI-IBS), reduced kidney function, diabetes, hypertension and reactive arthritis.

An E. coli O157 outbreak last fall in the U.S. was associated with the consumption of raw milk gouda cheese. Last November, seven cases of E. coli O157 human illness in the U.S. were linked to the consumption of apple cider and eleven cases were linked to the consumption of contaminated food served at a Thanksgiving dinner. An outbreak last summer at a restaurant chain in Japan was traced to beef that was imported from Australia.

About the Bioniche E. coli O157 Vaccine (EconicheTM)

The Food Safety Division of Bioniche Life Sciences Inc. has worked with Canadian university researchers to develop and license a cattle vaccine against E. coli O157. This vaccine – trademarkedEconicheTM – is meant to reduce the level of the bacterium in water, food and the environment and, in turn, reduce the potential infection of humans. It has been fully licensed in Canada since October, 2008. A conditional license is pending in the U.S…”

Read it all on

Leave a comment

Filed under News

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s