Merck Animal Health has launched INNOVAX-ND-IBD, the first live vaccine in the United States, made with biotechnology that protects against three highly infectious diseases in poultry – Newcastle disease (ND), infectious bursal disease (IBD) and Marek’s disease (MD).

The vaccine provides protection for ND, IBD and MD simultaneously when given to chickens either in ovo or subcutaneously in the hatchery.

Currently, according to the company, there are no treatment options available in the United States to combat these highly contagious infections which affect a range of systems, including the nervous, respiratory, immune and reproductive systems of many species of domestic and wild birds. If an outbreak hits a flock, the impact on the birds’ welfare and productivity is significant. 

“Protection against these important diseases will result in healthy and highly productive flocks,” said Ivan Alvarado, DVM, Merck Animal Health.  “INNOVAX-ND-IBD makes it easier for producers to protect their flocks with a single vaccine, which does not interfere with other live respiratory vaccines.”



INNOVAX-ND-IBD, according to Merck, is a multivalent live vaccine that uses the “dual-construct technology” in a live herpes virus of turkey (HVT).

INNOVAX-ND-IBD does not contain live ND or IBD viruses and cannot induce virus spread, revert to virulence or interfere with other live respiratory vaccines, the company stated. In addition, there are no post-vaccinal reactions because HVT is safe and nonpathogenic to chickens. Importantly, maternal antibodies do not interfere with INNOVAX-ND-IBD.

Merck Animal Health is known as MSD Animal Health outside the United States and Canada.

Photo courtesy of Merck Animal Health