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Thumbs up for simultaneous use of PRRS/ M hyo vaccines

Two vaccines from Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health have received European approval to be administered in piglets simultaneously.

The Committee for Medicinal Products for Veterinary Use (CVMP) of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) concluded the referral procedure for Porcilis PRRS and Porcilis M Hyo, both existing products.

Based on this opinion, a press release announced, it will be possible to dissolve the freeze-dried fraction of the two vaccines and administer the mixed vaccines as one single injection within one hour after reconstitution.

Laboratory studies
The efficacy and safety of this simultaneous administration is supported by the results from vaccine challenge studies. One of these controlled laboratory studies was recently published in Veterinary Record.

In laboratory trials as well as field trials there were no differences between the different vaccinated (either single or simultaneous injection) groups with respect to lung lesion scores or viraemia. The recommended vaccination scheme for finishing pigs with the mixed products is that the first administration of the M hyo vaccine is to be given from one week of age followed by the administration of the PRRS vaccine reconstituted in the M hyo vaccine from four weeks of age.

Swine vaccine innovation
“The development and subsequent approval of a vaccination strategy using a live porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS) vaccine and an inactivated Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae (M Hyo) vaccine in one injection without compromising efficacy or safety of either vaccine represents an innovation in the field of swine vaccines,” said Alex Eggen, DVM, the company's technical lead for swine.

“Simultaneous use of these vaccines is expected to significantly improve convenience for swine veterinarians, resulting in more efficient animal husbandry. As a consequence, simultaneous use of these vaccines is also expected to result in lower costs for the farmer. Moreover, the reduction of the number of animal interventions and injections is also expected to reduce stress and therefore may lead to an overall improvement in animal welfare,” he added.

PRRS and M hyo
Infection of pigs with PRRS virus and M hyo is a concern in the pig industry as these infections cause significant morbidity and mortality. PRRS virus infection is characterised by reproductive failure in breeding pigs, pre-weaning mortality, and respiratory disease in younger pigs.

Infection with M hyo leads to pathologic lung lesions. Mixed infections occur frequently and interact with each other in a complicated way, resulting in potentiation of symptoms and further growth reduction. The economic losses of PRRS virus and M hyo infections for the pig industry are estimated to be in excess of more than €1 billion per year.

Related websites:
Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health
Committee for Medicinal Products for Veterinary Use (CMPV)
European Medicine Agency

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