Domestic animal diseases often have a tremendous effect on local and global economies, as well as posing a potential threat to public health. Vaccines can serve as a powerful tool for combating transmission, but quality is key. To aid efforts that move us closer to a disease-free world, GEA provides equipment to assist in the complete production process of these high-quality vaccines.
Transboundary animal diseases (TAD) can have a disastrous impact on both local and international economies, not to mention causing immeasurable animal suffering. The 2001 outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) in the UK, for example, cost the local economy upwards of GBP 8 billion, devastating the agricultural community and meat industry. FMD is a viral infection that affects both wild and domestic cloven-hooved animals, such as sheep, cattle, goats and swine, and is highly contagious.
Several initiatives to combat the spread of such diseases have been developed by entities such as the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), many including the use of animal vaccines. These initiatives help to fortify best practices for animal production and outbreak prevention across the globe. The aim is to prevent the loss of livelihoods in developing countries and promote general population health.
Production quality is essential
Vaccine producers play a vital part in keeping the animal industry disease-free. The production of vaccines requires sophisticated equipment, such as centrifuges for the separation of biological materials. Vaccine producers need to ensure that the equipment allows them to meet – and exceed – process and product quality standards.
Thomas Homann, Senior Product Sales Manager Biotechnology explains that GEA provides special support to vaccine producers, often installing pilot machines that allow the customer to complete testing under real-life conditions.
“Customers quickly see that the test machines are not only reliable, but that they are the efficient method of upscaling processes to production scale. For example, the GEA CSE 170 with a throughput capacity of 3,000 to 6,000 l/h is the biggest disc centrifuge used for the production of FMD vaccine in China.”
Safe, sterile processing
Biocontainment of products in vaccine production is a critical concern, particularly after it was suspected that the virus responsible for the UK FMD outbreak “escaped” from a laboratory. A safe manufacturing process is an essential component in pharmaceutical and biotech operations, as any safety breech can endanger the health of both employees and the public, compromise products via cross-contamination, and damage brand reputations.
Equipment must ensure biocontainment and be top of the line – meeting the highest hygienic, processing and product quality standards. Optimal processing is crucial to ensure the best efficacy possible. Innovative hygiene technology also ensures safe biological production, protecting against contamination and outbreaks.
The sterilization technology in vaccine separators is state-of-the-art, from steam sterilization to CIP cleaning to GEA’s two-room hycon separator. These solutions help producers meet the standards and specifications of regulatory entities, such as the FDA.
GEA’s uniquely designed feed and discharge systems allow for the gentle handling of fragile products during separation. This helps to ensure superior quality of the final products and efficacy of the vaccines.
A dedication to developing and supplying customer-orientated solutions, backed by an untarnished record of industry-level compliance requirements (FDA, GMP and similar), has made GEA a respected ally for vaccine producers. Today, customers count on GEA to deliver reliable service and equipment at any part of the production process. Additionally, the ability to provide testing at customer sites is of great value to the efforts of local health systems as they work to prevent outbreaks.
GEA technology around the world
GEA has over 200 centrifuges operating in the field today, delivering superior purity of separation, thanks to our advanced technical concepts. We help our customers achieve extreme precision in their production processes, not least because our separators can be specifically customized to their requirements.
The natural world continues to evolve, and new viral mutations create greater potential for chaos in our increasingly global society, impacting economic and public health. This highlights the importance of the sustained efforts of legislative bodies, global veterinary entities and dedicated production partners, such as GEA, to move us closer to a disease-free world.