Scientific Opinion on field trials for bovine tuberculosis vaccination
The opinion provides advice relating to the design of field trials to test the performance of a vaccine for bovine tuberculosis (bTB), along with a test to Detect Infected among Vaccinated Animals (DIVA). The objective of cattle vaccination is to use the vaccine in combination with presently applied control measures within the EU as an aid towards bTB eradication. The ideal field trials for the DIVA test will follow the OIE guidelines for test validation. Any deviations from the ideal trial design in relation to DIVA test performance should be justified, and the bias that may subsequently be introduced should be accounted for. The ideal field trial design for vaccination performance should implement a double-blind randomised test scenario, and allow for known risk factors in the field situation. Any deviations from the ideal trial design in relation to vaccine performance should also be justified and bias that may subsequently be introduced should be accounted for. Relevant risk factors and possible confounders that should be taken into consideration in the design of field trials are described in this opinion. The safety of a candidate vaccine is guaranteed in the registration of a vaccine medication by a competent authority. The field trials will need to fulfil these requirements to prove that the use of this vaccine in the field is safe for both public health and the environment. Some additional remarks regarding the safety of this specific vaccine are included in this opinion.