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INNOVAX-ILT Protects against ILT for 60 Weeks

22 June 2009

Merck Animal Health - Poultry

US - INNOVAX®-ILT, an innovative recombinant vaccine, protects chickens against infectious laryngotracheitis (ILT) for at least 60-weeks, according to a study recently accepted by the United States Department of Agriculture.

"We know with certainty now that one subcutaneous dose of INNOVAX-ILT administered in the hatchery is enough for lifelong protection against this serious disease in long-lived chickens such as broiler breeders and commercial layers," says Dr Charles Broussard, US poultry technical service director for Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health, which developed and markets the vaccine.

Infectious laryngotracheitis (ILT) is a highly contagious respiratory disease caused by a herpesvirus. It has been a growing problem in recent years for poultry producers in both North and South America, the veterinarian explains. Clinical signs of the disease, which can affect broilers as well as breeders and layers, include decreased water and feed consumption, severe depression, conjunctivitis and respiratory distress and in some flocks, high mortality.

Traditional vaccines for ILT are generally administered at ten weeks of age, leaving birds vulnerable to ILT up to this point, Broussard explains.

Eliminates 'window of vulnerability'

"INNOVAX-ILT vaccine not only eliminates that window of vulnerability, it also does not cause respiratory reactions," he says, noting that the study approved by USDA was conducted in Millsboro, Delaware, where the company has research and development facilities.

"In addition, subcutaneous vaccination in the hatchery is a more efficient method of vaccinating chicks compared to field vaccination. And – because only one dose of INNOVAX-ILT is needed – producers will save on ILT-field vaccination labour costs." he adds.

INNOVAX-ILT utilises the turkey herpes virus (HVT) as a vector or carrier virus and HVT is well recognised as a safe virus for chickens. The vaccine also protects against Marek's disease, another serious herpesvirus disease of poultry that can result in widespread morbidity and mortality.

Further Reading

- Find out more information on ILT by clicking here.

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