Fw: Introduced species viruses
Fw: Introduced species viruses
"Nigel Sterpin" <>
Thu, 29 Oct 1998 18:34:05 +1100
Hello all. I received this response to my email from the Australian
Endangered Species website.
> From: INVASIVE <>
> To: Nigel Sterpin <>
> Subject: Re: Introduced species viruses
> Date: Tuesday, October 27, 1998 11:37
> Dear Nigel
> I refer to your email of 19 October 1998 concerning the use of
> to wipe out introduced species. I regret the delay in replying
> however we seem to be having problems forwarding this reply.
> The Rabbit Calicivirus Disease (RCD) was not manufactured to assist
> the control of European rabbits. RCD came to the attention of
> Australia when large numbers of rabbits started dying in some
> countries. On examination of those rabbits RCD was isolated. It
> appears that RCD is a disease that normally occurs in the wild
> populations of Europe and other countries and every so often causes
> high moralities. It was first reported in China in 1984 and soon
> after in other countries in Asia, Europe and in Mexico. The disease
> was thought to be spread by humans trading in domestic rabbits. In
> only a few months it killed 64 million farmed rabbits in Italy alone
> and quickly passed from domestic rabbits into wild rabbit
> causing high mortality.
> These reports alerted scientist to a potentially new biological
> control for wild rabbits in Australian and New Zealand. The virus
> taken into quarantine at the CSIRO Australian Animals Health
> Laboratory in Geelong for comprehensive testing over three years
> June 1991. These tests, along with previous results from overseas,
> confirmed that RCD is very specific to the European rabbit. It does
> not produce the disease in Australian native animals, domestic
> animals, hares or even the American Cottontail rabbit. Any species
> tested has not caught the disease.
> To manufacture or develop a virus from scratch to meet a specific
> requirement, such as to kill another species, while not impossible,
> would be very expensive. This is due to the many other issues that
> would need to be resolved before you could be 100% satisfied that
> the target species was going to be affected and that the chances of
> the virus changing its structure to allow it to attack other species
> could not occur. You would also need to ensure that it could not
> escape and cause damage to species overseas where they are not a
> Work is however being undertaken to look at the immune system of
> species and to see if this can be used back against themselves.
> Depending on what is discovered it may be possible to then use a
> as a carrier, infect the pest with the virus which would then
> the immune component to attack the pest species. That could be the
> pest reproductive system which would make it sterile or some other
> important bodily component, but the same degree of testing has to be
> done to ensure its safety to other species.
> I hope this information answers your queries.
> Kind Regards
> Robert Moore
> ______________________________ Reply Separator
> Subject: Introduced species viruses
> Author: "Nigel Sterpin" <> at Internet
> Date: 19/10/98 8:01 PM
> Have you explored the use of developing viruses to wipe out introduced
> species (like calici? virus for rabbits)?
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