Aiding Gumboro control in Germany

22-06-2009 | |

Gumboro disease is such a problem that veterinarian Dr Herman Block and his colleagues in northern Germany take 49,000 blood samples a year to determine the optimum time for vaccination.

Dr Block and 5 other vets from the Meyer-Block specialist poultry practice at Uelsen, near the Dutch border in northern Germany, look after 80 mln broilers and broiler-breeders. It is reportedly one of the most important poultry-producing areas in the country.

Infectious bursal disease (IBD), also known as Gumboro, he explained, was the No. 1 problem in poultry and could cause significant economic losses for farmers so he encouraged his clients to vaccinate as a routine.

“If they don’t vaccinate then they can cause problems for their neighbours,” he told a meeting of broiler producers at Shrewsbury, Shropshire, organised by the Slate Hall Veterinary Practice in conjunction with Lohmann Animal Health. “By taking blood samples to measure antibody titres and vaccinating earlier we have fewer problems than anywhere else in Germany,” he added.

Dr Block carried out field studies involving 3 commercial intermediate-plus vaccines to investigate their efficacy on 3 separate broiler farms.

While all of the vaccines prevented infection, he found that AviPro IBD Xtreme induced an earlier and higher sero-response than its competitors, because it was able to break through the high maternal antibodies when used earlier. Production parameters of AviPro IBD Xtreme-vaccinated broilers were comparable with those of broilers vaccinated with other intermediate-plus vaccines.

“Depending on maternal immunity, we are able to use AviPro IBD Xtreme between one and two days earlier — at 7-16 days — which provides good protection without any loss of performance,” he commented. It was particularly useful for providing control and protection in disease ‘hot-spots” and this vaccine is now used on 60% of the birds in his practice.

Lohmann Animal Health product manager, Brigitte Othmar, pointed out that other trials in Europe showed that at 7 days after vaccination birds vaccinated with AviPro IBD Xtreme had the highest number of sero-positive results.
They also had the highest mean ELISA-antibody titres and the best protection against clinical symptoms of IBD after challenge with vv-IBDV K357/88 strain and this was reflected in mortality levels.

Natalie Berkhout Freelance journalist