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Impact of Circovac® vaccination on reproductive failure

by 5m Editor
20 June 2008, at 12:00am

This report from Merial looks at two reports from Denmark investigating the impact of Circovac® vaccination on reproductive failure.

SPF multiplier herd

A very recent investigation in a Danish 350- sows multiplying SPF herd has focused on the number of stillborns in a period before and after Circovac® vaccination, underlining the role of PCV2 in the increased rate of stillbirth in this herd (Ebbesen & Kunstmann, 2008).

During 2006, this PMWS-free herd had suffered from increasing numbers of stillborn piglets and of sows with more than 5 stillborn piglets per litter.


In December 2006, PCV2 was detected by immunohistochemical staining in a mummified foetus, and 8 out of 10 blood samples from weaners were found seropositive to PCV2. Sows and gilts were vaccinated with Circovac® mid January 2007, and 3 weeks later.

The number of live- and stillborn piglets were recorded by the staff before vaccination (from February 1, 2006 to February 1, 2007) and after vaccination (from February 1 to November 1, 2007).

The number of stillborn piglets per litter significantly decreased over the duration of the observation (1.86 to 1.22, p=0.02, see graph 1), as did the number of sows with more than 5 stillborn piglets (81 to 30, p=0.0004), leading the authors to conclude that Circovac® vaccination helped correcting the reproductive failure observed on this farm.

Danish-SPF farm

On another Danish-SPF farm, a sow-multiplier, the sow mortality rate gradually increased and a number of reproductive performance parameters regularly deteriorated during the last quarter of 2004 (Schøning, 2008).

No classical abortive agent was identified by initial diagnostic tests. As a preliminary action, vaccination against Leptospira and Swine Influenza virus was performed, which did not improve the situation.

In April 2006, further seroanalysis revealed that sows that had either aborted or returned to heat displayed higher PCV2-antibody titres than the group of sows going through a "normal" pregnancy, although no signs of PMWS were seen in weaners.

Spectacular effect

Implementation of mass Circovac® vaccination by the end of 2006 had a spectacular effect on the sow herd, with great impact on sow mortality, number of liveborn piglets and of litters per sow per year (see table 1).

This field case illustrates that mass vaccination with Circovac® brought a clear health improvement and restored normal performances in the breeding herd, in a context of absence of PMWS.


June 2008