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In 1947, Dr. H. S. Frenkel reported growth of Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) virus in cultured explants of cattle tongue epithelium. This method was subsequently developed for large-scale production of the virus, thus creating possibilities for FMD vaccine production on a much wider scale than hitherto. Frenkel-type vaccines were first used for large scale cattle vaccinations in the Netherlands in 1953. The number of FMD cases dropped dramatically, but rose again in the early 60-ties, especially in pigs. It was not until the late 60-ties, when the neighboring countries started to vaccinate routinely, that FMD disease was gradually brought under control. The lessons from this early experience are twofold: first FMD can be controlled, even with the classical vaccines in countries with a dense population of susceptible animals, and second such efforts are best undertaken as part of a regional approach. In other regions the lessons learned were similar, for instance in South America where remarkable progress with FMD control has been achieved.
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