Coccidiosis vaccine surpasses 1 billion doses in US
US broiler operations used more than 1 billion doses of coccidiosis vaccine within a year, according to Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health.
Through November, nearly twice as many broilers were vaccinated with Coccivac-B as compared to the previous year in the same period, making it the most widely used coccidiosis vaccine in the United States.
“It’s a milestone for Coccivac-B but, more importantly, the trend points to the new direction in the U.S. poultry industry for managing intestinal health in broiler flocks,” says Rick Phillips, DVM, director of the company’s U.S. poultry business.
Phillips says producers need a sustainable way to control coccidiosis in the face of growing resistance to in-feed anticoccidials. Several studies have demonstrated that by integrating Coccivac-B into traditional coccidiosis-control programs, the effectiveness of resistance-prone, in-feed anticoccidials can be restored because the vaccine seeds the house with Eimeria oocysts that have never been exposed to anticoccidials.
The veterinarian also thinks the surge in coccidiosis vaccine usage reflects the poultry industry’s response to growing consumer demand for meat raised with fewer or no in-feed medications. He says more and more producers are eliminating the use of in-feed anticoccidials and using Coccivac-B exclusively for coccidiosis control.
Several other factors have boosted the increased use of Coccivac-B. One is the development of the SprayCox II spray vaccination unit, which enables day-old chicks to conveniently receive the vaccine at the hatchery and ensures more uniform administration compared to water or spray-on-feed administration. Another factor is field experience, Phillips explains, which has provided important lessons about how to get better results — like methods for modifying preening behavior to enhance vaccine intake.
“In recent years, we’ve also discovered that when immunity against coccidiosis develops early — as it does with Coccivac-B — the disease has less of an impact on the producer’s bottom line,” Phillips says.
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