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Merck Animal Health expands pinkeye vaccine portfolio

Licensing deal with Addison Biological adds Moraxella Bovoculi Bacterin to Merck Animal Health's portfolio.

Merck Animal Health (known as MSD Animal Health outside the U.S. and Canada) has announced an agreement with Addison Biological Laboratory Inc. to market the Moraxella Bovoculi Bacterin that the U.S. Department of Agriculture has conditionally licensed.

The product is the only commercially available vaccine for the prevention of pinkeye due to Moraxella bovoculi in cattle, the announcement said.

Infectious bovine keratoconjunctivitis (IBK) — commonly called pinkeye — is a highly contagious and costly disease that negatively affects cattle production, causing estimated losses of more than $150 million annually in the U.S., Merck Animal Health said.

Moraxella bovis has long been identified as the bacteria causing pinkeye. However, more recently M. bovoculi has been frequently isolated in pinkeye cases, including in cases of winter pinkeye. To complicate prevention, both M. bovoculi and M. bovis often are found together, the company said.

“Options to help prevent M. bovoculi have been limited, so we are pleased to provide bovine veterinarians and producers with this vaccine,” said Dr. Tim Parks, ruminant technical services manager for Merck Animal Health. “Moraxella Bovoculi Bacterin includes eight different M. bovoculi isolates — and when used in conjunction with Vision or Piliguard vaccines for M. bovis — provides comprehensive pinkeye protection.”

Pinkeye commonly is associated with summer grazing, but it can occur year-round.

“For beef cattle, pinkeye vaccines for M. bovis and M. bovoculi fit well into branding and/or weaning protocols, and for dairy, might be given when moving animals into larger group pens,” Parks said. “Consult with your veterinarian for specific guidance and to create a holistic approach for pinkeye control — including vaccination, fly control and environmental management — that will provide the best results for your herd.”

Merck Animal Health explained that conditionally licensed products meet the same safety testing and purity requirements as fully licensed products.


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