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Merial launches UK's first PMWS vaccine

by 5m Editor
19 September 2007, at 2:53pm

UK - Merial Animal Health launches CIRCOVAC®, the UK's first vaccine for PCV2. This is the virus involved in post-weaning multisystemic wasting syndrome (PMWS) and other PCV2 -related diseases.

The annual cost to the UK pig industry of the hitherto untreatable disease has been put at £20m a year. Now, after several years in development, the availability of the vaccine has been welcomed by the UK pig industry.

Merial's new PCVAD Vaccine - Circovac™ "I believe it's the single most significant disease problem that's faced the industry since 1999," says Derek Armstrong, veterinary scientist with BPEX. "The figures suggest that 80% of farmers have had experience of PCV2 since 1999 and most will have experienced at least a doubling of their mortality rates, with some unlucky ones seeing peaks far higher."

CIRCOVAC is the first PCV2 vaccine which provides pig producers with the opportunity to return their herds to the health status they enjoyed pre-PMWS," says Merial's Andrew Buglass. "Administered to the sow or gilt, it endows piglets with a very effective and specific passive protection against PCV2 infection through colostrum uptake.

"It also allows piglets' immune systems to mature in a correct and efficient way during their first weeks of life, allowing them to build their own active PCV2 immunity properly."

Animal health authorities around the world have recognised the emergency situation regarding PMWS and PCV2 diseases - its cost in Europe alone has been put at £406m. Since 2004 the vaccine has been available under special license in some European countries. During this period over 1.5 million sow doses have been used and large amounts of field efficacy data collected.

Vaccination with CIRCOVAC has been proven to: reduce incidence of the diseases associated with PCV2, such as respiratory and digestive disorders; decrease overall mortality rates; improve growth performances (both average daily weight gain and feed conversion ratios), and to allow a decrease in medication, such as anti-infective treatments.

"Importantly, CIRCOVAC has shown its ability to reduce viral shedding within the herd, thereby lowering still further the risk of exposure to the virus," points out Mr Buglass.

"From a management point of view, CIRCOVAC users have consistently reported a reduction in the workload for their stockmen," he adds.

Evaluation of the field experiences across the different countries enabled the economical benefit of CIRCOVAC vaccination to be evaluated at between £55 and £80 per sow, per year.

"Although CIRCOVAC will be welcomed on grounds of improving the economic performance of pig production - especially as feed prices continue their upward spiral - it's not just about costs," concludes Mr Buglass.

"The most important thing that CIRCOVAC brings is peace of mind, allowing pig producers to focus on their main priority: raising healthy pigs."

More information to follow on ThePigSite soon!

Further Reading

- Visit the PMWS and PCVD technical zone by clicking here.

5m Editor