Contact: Shirley Bolin
ORLANDO, Florida. Six Florida researchers confirmed
today, that a vaccine for West Nile Virus has been used successfully
in six English Mute Swans at Orange Lake Resort & Country
Club in Orlando, Florida. Titre tests conducted on blood samples
taken from the swans show a sustained level of antibody response
following vaccination with Fort Dodge Animal Health's West Nile
Virus equine vaccine. The group's research provides the first
real hope that a vaccine against the deadly West Nile Virus can
protect the world's largest waterfowl and those birds in private
collections such as zoos. The three-month
long scientific study was conducted by The Regal Swan,
a Florida based group. The vaccine was injected into the swans
and produced no detrimental side effects or deaths in the inoculated
swans. Using the Fort Dodge Animal Health's West Nile Virus vaccine
in the swans still remains as an off-label application. Prior
to the research, no proven vaccine existed for protection against
the West Nile Virus in swans.
W. Brown and Kathleen Sterling vaccinating a swan.
Each year the virus affects more than
130 species of birds. Hundreds of predatory and migratory birds
are killed during these outbreaks. In addition to birds other
wildlife and humans are infected by the disease. In 2002, the
West Nile Virus claimed the lives of more than 280 people in
44 states and infected more than 4,100 people. Last year's outbreak
was the largest since the virus first appeared in the Western
Hemisphere in 1999.
Photo by Shirley A. Bolin. © 2003. All rights reserved.
In June, U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson
warned of the potential for another deadly outbreak this summer
due to heavy spring rains across the nation. According to the
Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta, Georgia, all 50 states
are expected to be affected this year by the disease which is
carried by mosquitoes. Until the Florida group's research, no
titer testing existed in swans and the scientific investigation
into the swans' antibody response to the vaccine had not been
documented. Initial vaccination protocols were set by Dr. Christopher
W. Brown, a Central Florida relief veterinarian, and Dr. Geoffrey
R. Gardner, a Lakeland, Florida veterinarian.
The vaccination and titre testing for
Fort Dodge's West Nile Virus vaccine was conducted exclusively
at Orange Lake Resort & Country Club in Orlando, Florida.
Orange Lake is the largest single site timeshare in the world.
It was founded in 1982 by the late Kemmons Wilson, the founder
of Holiday Inn®.
SwanTM researchers are: Christopher W. Brown, D.V.M., Central
Florida relief veterinarian, Orlando, Florida; Geoffrey R. Gardner,
D.V.M., Lakeland Veterinary Hospital, Lakeland, Florida; Fanchon
F. Funk, Ed.D., associate professor, Florida State University,
Tallahassee, Florida; Sheila A. Bolin, M.S., swan keeper, Orange
Lake Resort & Country Club, Orlando, Florida; Rebecca Webb
Wilson, J.D., professional photographer and lifetime trustee
of the Memphis Zoological Society, Memphis, Tennessee; and Shirley
A. Bolin, A.G.S., head photographer and staff writer, Orange
Lake Resort & Country Club, Orlando, Florida.
The Research Team:
From left to right, Shirley A. Bolin, Dr. Christopher W. Brown,
Sheila A. Bolin,
Dr. Geoffrey R. Gardner, Dr. Fanchon F. Funk and Rebecca Webb
Additionally, the six-team members compiled
crucial information on worldwide swan mortality through the efforts
of Roger Cullingham of The
Royal Windsor Web Site
byThamesweb, Windsor, England; Her Majesty's Swan Warden,
Dr. Christopher Perrins, director of The Earl Grey Institute
of Ornithology, Oxford University, London, England; Her Majesty's
Swan Marker, David Barber; Dorothy Beeson, founder, The Swan
Sanctuary, Egham, England; Steve Knight, trustee, The Swan Sanctuary,
Egham, England; Martin Brown, animal health officer, Wildfowl
and Wetlands Trust Fund, Slimbridge, England; Dr. Vladimir Spitsin,
director of the Moscow Zoo, Moscow, Russia;
Sergei Popov, head of research at the
Moscow Zoo, Moscow, Russia; and Dr. Nikolai Puchkov, The Russian
Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia.
For more information on
The Regal Swan, please go to: The Regal Swan on The Royal Windsor Web Site or The
The Regal Swan Sponsors
Lake Resort & Country Club, City of Lakeland, Florida, Lakeland
Veterinary Hospital, Pfizer Animal Health, Antech Diagnostic
Labs, Inc., American Camper, Blitz® USA, Bushnell Sports
Optics Worldwide, Cobra Electronics, Hunt Manufacturing Company,
Kaz Incorporated, Lab Essentials, Inc., The National High Magnetic
Laboratory, Florida State University; The Memphis Zoo, Orlando
Science Center, Theroyalwindsorwebsite.com by Thamesweb, Windsor, England;
Sharn Veterinary, Inc., The Sports Authority, Timex®, VetCare,Vicks
Company, IQ Scientific Instruments and Western Pest Services.
Contact: Shirley Bolin. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
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