A new one-shot vaccine against oedema disease, which can cause piglet mortality of up to 10% in affected herds, is being launched by Hysolv Animal Health in the UK and Ireland.
The vaccine, Ecoporc Shiga, is reported by the company to “induce a high level of immunity against shiga toxin”, which is produced by the E.coli bacteria which cause oedema. Hysolv also said that the vaccine has proved “highly successful” in Germany, where it was developed by IDT Biologika.
“Oedema is a lethal infectious disease seen in pig production,” said Hysolv. “It primarily occurs in piglets during the first weeks after weaning and is caused by a proliferation of shiga toxin-producing E coli bacteria. It causes serious losses to the pig industry, resulting in a high rate of mortality among infected pigs. In individual herds up to 10% of piglets can die; often the heaviest pigs, with those that survive remaining runt-like.”
Hysolv director, Richard Brealey, added: “Vaccines such as Ecoporc Shiga can significantly reduce the use of antibiotics in piglet rearing, acting as a preventative measure in a welfare-focused and cost-effective way. We are advising producers to work closely with their vets on this.”
The company’s advice is for piglets to be injected intramuscularly with a single 1 ml dose of Ecoporc Shiga from four days old.
“Immunity develops within 21 days and lasts over the whole of the critical rearing and finishing phase,” said Hysolv, adding that in a comparative study involving 319 pigs no mortality was recorded among the vaccinated group compared with 11.4% in the unvaccinated control group.
“A German calculation showed a reduction in margin of 83 Euros (£74) per sow or 41,000 Euros (£32,500) for a 500-sow herd,” said the company.