Building the base: What’s your broiler vaccine strategy?

Building the base: What’s your broiler vaccine strategy?

For years broiler companies have leaned heavily on recombinant vaccines for managing Marek’s disease, infectious bursal disease, and some viral respiratory diseases. Now, technological advances in vaccine development and field experience are teaming up to make good vaccine programs even better. Poultry Health Today looks at this exciting trend.

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Veterinarian offers strategies for managing viral diseases in recombinant-based vaccination programs


A well-designed vaccination program including recombinant vaccines can help protect flocks against Marek’s disease, infectious bursal disease (IBD) and some viral respiratory diseases while providing more flexibility for managing other common diseases such as infectious bronchitis (IB), according to Kalen Cookson, DVM, director of clinical research, Zoetis.


Zavala: Recombinant vector vaccines are boon for poultry industry, but not all are the same


Recombinant vector vaccines have garnered popularity because they are a safe and convenient way to provide protection against more than one disease with a single dose. But producers should be mindful that they are not all the same, nor do they perform the same in the field, Guillermo Zavala, DVM, PhD, founder of Avian Health International, LLC, told Poultry Health Today.  



Gimeno: Marek’s disease control demands careful attention to detail


The evolution of Marek’s disease virus has increased the pathogen’s virulence, according to Isabel M. Gimeno, DVM, professor, North Carolina State University. MDV is also widespread. In an unpublished study, Gimeno found that, in the US, 100% of broiler chickens were positive for oncogenic MDV at 7 days of age. In addition, the pathotypes of the disease can differ completely from farm to farm. Although control of tumors has improved, managing MDV-induced immunosuppression remains especially challenging, she told Poultry Health Today.



Strong, early protection with new recombinant vaccine linked to extensive prototype screening, unique construction

Sing Rong

Extensive screening of more than 40 vaccine prototypes and a unique construction are responsible for the strong, early protection a new recombinant vaccine provides against three important diseases of poultry. “Our novel vector insertion site on the HVT genome and a strong promoter that boosts immunogenicity are two important factors that set the vaccine apart from other vaccines in the same category,” explained Sing Rong, PhD, research director at Zoetis.



Roundtable: Optimizing immunity in ‘no antibiotics ever’ and ‘reduced use’ broiler flocks

Zoetis chicken

The rise of “no antibiotics ever” and “reduced use” production systems has prompted poultry companies to rethink their traditional disease-management practices. These flocks are naturally more susceptible to diseases caused by primary or secondary infections. Making refinements in nutrition, stocking rates and housing may help to reduce disease pressure. But in the end, finding ways to optimize immunity and give broilers more “staying power” could be the best strategy for maintaining the health and welfare of these birds. Poultry Health Today brought together a team of specialists with expertise in three diseases affecting the broiler’s immune system — IBD, Marek’s and reovirus — to talk about what producers can do now to raise the bar for protection and flock welfare.


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