Development and use of virus-vectored immunocontraception

Virus-vectored immunocontraception (VVIC) is perceived to present biological risks, real or baseless, which create social and political constraints to deploying VVIC for managing vertebrate pests. Developing and deploying VVIC must be justified and address biological, social and political risks. Future needs for pest management will influence deployment of VVIC. Projections of human society and pest impact on agriculture and conservation suggest increasing need for cost-beneficial strategies. Best strategies are likely to integrate various methods, possibly including forms of VVIC. Processes identifying future pest impacts and roles for VVIC are shown using the rabbit in Australia. Present research developing VVIC aims to test physiological feasibility, to develop it for specific pests, and address aspects of ecological feasibility. Minimizing biological risks through choosing species-specific antigens and, if possible, viral vectors, is central and overseen by regulatory authorities. International collaborators study related valued species to develop protective strategies. Excellent science can withstand legal or public challenge to safe and cost-beneficial VVIC if aided by information needed by the public exposed to media distortion of scientific debate, complex argument and concepts of probability and risk. Sound science needs support from strategies for public processes to enable cost-beneficial management of vertebrate pests.

Author Williams, C. K.
Year 1997
Secondary title Reproduction, Fertility and Development
Volume 9
Number 1
Pages 169-178
Control method Fertility Control
Region Australia - national