Zoetis announced that it has been granted a license from the U.S. Department of Agriculture for its Poulvac Maternavac 4, an inactivated vaccine that helps protect chickens against four important diseases.
Zoetis said the vaccine will begin shipping this fall.
The new vaccine is built on Poulvac Maternavac IBD-Reo — a vaccine that protects against standard and variant strains of infectious bursal disease (IBD), as well as malabsorption caused by reovirus. Poulvac Maternavac 4 offers these same protections, in addition to Newcastle disease (ND) and infectious bronchitis virus (IBV).
“The vaccine helps to build a strong base of immunity against four diseases in breeder hens and three diseases in broiler offspring,” said Dr. Kalen Cookson, director of clinical research, Zoetis.
“That’s particularly important today because raising robust broilers has become more challenging with the surge in ‘no antibiotics ever’ production,” he added. “It stands to reason that chicks with a solid immune base are more likely to perform well during grow-out, regardless of the production system.”
As an added benefit, using the four-way vaccine helps to reduce labor and bird stress by eliminating at least one injection, he explained.
Like Poulvac Maternavac IBD-Reo, Poulvac Maternavac 4 contains the classic Lukert strain of IBD and the cross-protective variant Group-6 produced on bursal-tissue origin (BTO), Cookson said, noting the most prevalent IBD strains are new-type variants.
The reovirus antigens in Poulvac Maternavac 4 are the tenosynovitis strain 1733 VA and the malabsorption strain 2408, Zoetis said. Previous studies by Zoetis demonstrated that progeny receiving higher classic reovirus antibodies had less tendon swelling and were protected from weight suppression due to Variant Group-1 (Genotype 5) reovirus.
The ND component of Poulvac Maternavac 4 is based on the mesogenic Kimber strain, which provides strong disease protection against Newcastle disease. “We expect it should relieve concerns about reactions in the hatchery to Newcastle,” Cookson said, adding that virulent ND, which is deadly to poultry, has been a problem in certain areas of the U.S.
Poulvac Maternavac 4 contains the Massachusetts strain of infectious bronchitis, which helps to boost the titer response to all the IBV serotypes — both vaccines and wild type — to which the pullet has been exposed, he added.
Poulvac Maternavac 4 has been shown to be effective for vaccination of healthy, primed chickens against standard and variant IBD, ND, IBV, as well as tenosynovitis and malabsorption due to reovirus. The vaccine has also been shown to protect progeny against these same diseases except IBV.
The four-way vaccine should be administered to primed birds at 0.5 mL at 16-22 weeks of age (approximately 4 weeks prior to lay). There is a withholding period of 42 days before processing.