Veterinary vaccines currently available in Europe and in other parts of the world are developed by the veterinary pharmaceutical industry. The development of a vaccine for veterinary use is an economic endeavour that takes many years. There are many obstacles along the path to the successful development and launch of a vaccine. The industrial development of a vaccine for veterinary use usually starts after the proof of concept that is based on robust academic research. A vaccine can only be made available to the veterinary community once marketing authorisation has been granted by the veterinary authorities.
This review gives a brief description of the regulatory requirements which have to be fulfilled before a vaccine can be admitted to the market. Vaccines have to be produced in a quality controlled environment to guarantee delivery of a product of consistent quality with well defined animal and consumer safety and efficacy characteristics. The regulatory and manufacturing legislative framework in which the development takes place is described, as well as the trend in developments in production systems. Recent developments in bacterial, viral and parasite vaccine research and development are also addressed and the development of novel adjuvants that use the expanding knowledge of immunology and disease pathology are described.