A live oral vaccine used by pig producers in Canada for more than seven years to help prevent post-weaning diarrhoea (PWD), has now been licensed for use throughout the EU.
The vaccine, Coliprotec F4, will be distributed by Elanco Animal Health, which has distributed the product in Canada on behalf of its manufacturer, Prevtec Microbia. The EU license has been granted to Prevtec’s German subsidiary.
Elanco pig veterinarian, Ciara O’Neill, said that up to half of all weaned pigs may be affected by PWD, with the economic cost to producers being up to £3.46 per weaned pig.
“Mortality is usually less than 10% of infected piglets,” she added, “although without treatment this can rise to about 25%.”
Elanco’s GB key account manager, Phil Macdonald, said the single dose vaccine follows the “natural route of the infection” and provides a “safe and effective solution which can also be administered in drinking water”.
“An important tool for fighting E.coli infections in pigs,” he said, “it has become available at a time when the use of antibiotics is under close scrutiny in the EU.”
He also commented that oral antibiotics have been the most common measure to control PWD in Europe for decades.