a1 Lohmann Animal Health, Heinz Lohmann Street 4, Cuxhaven, D-27472, Germany
If vaccines are to reliably prevent disease, they must be developed, produced and quality-controlled according to very strict regulations and procedures. Veterinary viral vaccine registrations are governed by different rules in different countries, but these rules all emphasize that the quality of the raw materials—the cells, eggs, animals or plants that are used in production—need to be carefully controlled. The veterinary vaccine business is also very cost-conscious. Emphasis over the last 5–10 years has therefore been to develop culture systems that minimize labor and sterility problems and thus provide for reliable and cost-effective production. Implementing these often more complex systems in a production environment takes considerable effort, first in scale-up trials and further down the line in convincing production personnel to change their familiar system for something new and possibly untried. To complete scale-up trials successfully, it is absolutely necessary to understand the biochemistry of the cells and the influence of the virus on the cells under scale-up and later production conditions. Once a viral product can be produced on a large scale, it is imperative that the quality of the end-product is controlled in an intelligent way. One needs to know whether the end-product performs in the animal as was intended during its conception in the research and development department. The development of the appropriate tests to demonstrate this plays an important role in the successful development of a vaccine.