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Thursday, 19 November 1959

Mr Swartz (DARLING DOWNS, QUEENSLAND) z asked the Minister for Health, upon notice -

1.   What type of research work is carried out by the research division of the Commonwealth Serum Laboratories in Melbourne?

2.   Are consultant services at these laboratories available to State Departments of Agriculture?

Dr DONALD CAMERON (OXLEY, QUEENSLAND) - The answers to the honorable member's questions are as follows: -

1.   The Research Division at the Commonwealth Serum Laboratories is engaged in a series of investigations aimed at producing new biological preparations for human or veterinary use.

An example of this is a virus vaccine at present being developed to combat respiratory virus infections on a wider scale than at present possible. Another example is the development of the serum derivative plasminogen, for use in the treatment of blood clotting diseases. The division also undertakes a variety of tasks such as the preparation of special antisera for typing of organisms recently discovered, particularly viruses, and it also carries out field and laboratory tests for effectiveness of vaccines previously developed, such as the present polio vaccine and the proposed quadruple antigen. It is also engaged in a variety of other activities such as investigations with the -staphylococcus and its mode of action against the human subject, the leptospiral infections of animals and man, and venoms and antivenenes.

2.   Consultant services are available and have -been drawn upon by State departments on various occasions, for example -

(i)   In the field of animal nutrition, the laboratories have collaborated with the Victorian State Department of Agriculture in antibiotic feeding experiments, with poultry, at the Werribee Research Station, and with pigs at Rutherglen.

(ii)   Technical advice was provided to the

New South Wales Department of Agriculture recently, during the course of a survey of penicillin in milk.

(iii)   More recently, advice and laboratory assistance have been provided to the Victorian Department of Agriculture in setting up preliminary trials to seek a means of controlling the level of penicillin in milk.

(iv)   Veterinary advice is freely given by the veterinary consultants to State Departments with regard to immunization and animal health, involving the use of vaccines and antisera.

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