Juvenile Territory crocodiles will be given a new vaccine as part of a study into Kunjin virus Picture: JUSTIN KENNEDY
Juvenile Territory crocodiles will be given a new vaccine as part of a study into Kunjin virus Picture: JUSTIN KENNEDY

Push to use NT crocs in vaccine field trial

A NEW vaccine aims to safeguard NT crocodile farms from a mosquito-borne virus.

In an unprecedented move, up to 2800 juvenile Territory crocs will be used in a proposed field trial to "assess the efficacy and safety" of the potential vaccine.

Developed by University of Queensland scientists, the vaccine aims to protect against Kunjin virus - a mosquito-borne disease that can be transmitted to horses, humans and crocodiles.

"We think mosquito-borne viruses like Kunjin may cause skin problems in crocodiles," said UQ's Professor Roy Hall.

"The market for crocodile skins is strong, if the skins are pretty hot quality.

"If there are any faults in the skin, any lesions, they can have the skins rejected."

The proposed trial, which is still to receive full approval, will take place over five years at Darwin Crocodile Farm and Janamba Crocodile Farm.

Prof Hall described the proposed trial as "unique".

Visit the Office of the Gene Technology Regulator at ogtr.gov.au for more.


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