Zoetis has obtained a conditional license from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to market the first commercially available vaccine for helping reduce disease caused by the Georgia 08 variant of infectious bronchitis virus (IBV) in poultry. The vaccine is now available in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky and Tennessee.
USDA agreed to issue a conditional license because the modified-live vaccine fills a special need, has been shown to be safe and has demonstrated a "reasonable expectation of efficacy" against the target pathogen.
"The Georgia 08 variant has had a devastating impact on animal health, production and profits on affected farms, with previously available vaccines providing little protection," said Kalen Cookson, a technical services veterinarian for Zoetis.
First identified in Georgia in December 2007, the Georgia 08 IBV variant has since been isolated on farms in Alabama, Tennessee and Kentucky. Over the past two winters, its incidence and severity have increased dramatically, resulting in significant losses due to condemnations at processing, reduced line efficiency and additional plant measures needed to process affected birds.
Zoetis plans to submit additional efficacy studies of the vaccine in order to pursue a full USDA license.