Esco VacciXcell News

The Raging Epidemic of Foot-and-Mouth Disease in South Africa

By Esco Healthcare 29 January, 2019


January 7 - South Africa's Department of Agriculture quarantined an area in Vhembe, Limpopo, where an estimated of 15,000 cattle and sheep were affected with Foot-and-Mouth disease (FMD).

This disease has proven to be a threat to the livestock industry for it is one of the most contagious animal diseases as it is caused hundreds of youngling deaths in the livestock industry via heart muscle inflammation.

On the other hand, authorities of Limpopo tried to contain FMD - leading to the implementation of vaccination and livestock relocation around the said village.

Vaccine Production for this type of disease is very important; the careful selection of the FMD virus strain in Vhembe is critical in producing the needed vaccinations; in this instance, FMD can be proliferated using BHK-21 cell line.

To combat this FMD outbreak, millions of vaccines must be produced.


Esco VacciXcell solution


Esco VacciXcell Tide Motion Bioreactors are capable of producing high FMD viral titer using BHK-21 cells. Tide Motion provides a fully single-use bioprocessing method with closed automated cell harvesting for seed preparation (0.1 L packed bed volume) to production (5,000 L packed bed volume - bioequivalence of 50,000 L in suspension), all in the same 3D tide motion.

Moreover, Tide Motion bioreactors are designed based on the concept of bellow-induced intermittent flow of media and air through porous matrices (BioNOC II) where cells reside. With the use of Tide Motion principle, the gentle vertical oscillation of culture medium and air provides cells an environment that has low shear stress that avoid cell damage or cell death. BHK-21 cell cultures require high aeration and nutrition levels to reproduce and perform effectively. This efficient nutrient and oxygen transfer is what allows the Tide Motion system to produce high viral titer for FMD vaccine production.

Given the magnitude of the livestock issues the South Africa is facing, Tide Motion system will be helpful all over the world in preventing other livestock to be infected by Foot-and-Mouth disease.



  1. Agriorbit. (January, 2019) FMD outbreak in Limpopo. Last accessed January 24, 2019 from

  2. Channel New Asia. (January, 2019) South Africa detects foot and mouth disease in Limpopo province. Last accessed January 24, 2019 from

  3. 3. South African Government. (January, 2019) Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries releases joint statement on Foot-and-Mouth Disease Outbreak. Last accessed January 29, 2019 from


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About Tide Motion Bioreactors

Foot and mouth disease is a contagious viral disease caused by aphthovirus of the family Picornaviridae. This is a common disease found in agricultural animals like cloven-hoofed animals (e.g., cattle, goat, pigs, and sheep). The affected animals suffer from fever, painful sores and blisters on the feet and mouth, thus, causes high mortality in young animals.

Read more about foot-and-mouth disease:


About Tide Motion Bioreactors

Tide Motion pertains to the gentle oscillation of culture medium into and out of the matrix vessel that intermittently exposes the cells to aeration and nutrition. The upward oscillation exposes the cells to nutrition, while the downward oscillation exposes the cells to aeration. At the same time, this process washes away products and wastes. This oscillation produces no air bubbles and low shear stress. View a range of products at


About Esco VacciXcell

Esco VacciXcell is the bioprocessing division of Esco Group of Companies that specializes in the marketing and manufacturing of bioprocessing equipment for cell culture.

Esco VacciXcell provides turnkey manufacturing solutions using its proprietary Tide Motion™ technology to help developing nations to be self-sufficient in the manufacturing, storing, distribution, and administration of vaccines and other biologics, thus providing a complete solution from Discovery to Delivery. For more information on VacciXcell, please visit