A new ready-to-use combination vaccine to combat pig diseases, is being hailed by its manufacturer as the first of its kind in Europe.

According to MSD, the vaccine protects against the two pathogens PCV2(Porcine circovirus type 2) and Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae (M.hyo) which can have devastating effects on health, performance and profitability in pig production.

“M.hyo causes pneumonia while PCV2 severely suppresses the immune system of pigs. Combined infection of these two pathogens impacts hugely on health leading to reduced weight gain,” said veterinarian Sharon Magnier, animal health advisor with MSD Animal Health, manufacturers of the new vaccine.

“PCV2 is such a ubiquitous virus in swine production that up to 100% of pigs can be positive for the disease at slaughter. Severe infection can result in mortality of up to 80%.

“Even apparently healthy pigs can be infected with the virus and are thought to possibly suffer poor performance and have an increased susceptibility to disease as a result. The efficacy of vaccination programmes in these pigs may also be reduced.’’

“M.hyo is the primary initiator of enzootic pneumonia, a widespread and chronic disease in pig herds. If not controlled, it can become endemic. It is also frequently complicated by other mycoplasmas, bacteria and viruses that can affect the severity of the disease,” added Sharon.

Because of the severity of these two pathogens and their impact on health and profitability, she stressed the importance of a strategic vaccination programme that protects against both.

The new single dose combination vaccine has also recently been launched in other European Countries with German producers using the vaccine since the start of July. The results to date have been favourable with feedback from producers very positive.

One producer who has used the product has observed that the vaccine is “convenient and easy to use as no mixing is required pre-administration’’ as well as being ‘’simple and swift to administer’’,which is helping stockmen save time when vaccinating young pigs.1

The producer went on to say that the product ‘’saves 12 hours of labour per week compared to previous vaccination regimens” and ‘’appears to achieve the equivalent health protection and performance as previous vaccination strategies’’ that have been used to protect his pigs against PCV2 and M .hyo infections.1

“All pigs should be given a single intramuscular dose at three weeks of age. This gives protection against PCV2 for 22 weeks and against M.hyo for 21 weeks.”

In association with MSD Animal Health.