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MSD Animal Health Launches FORTEGRA® Vaccine in Latin America to Protect Poultry Against Coccidiosis

11 August 2015

Merck Animal Health - Poultry

GLOBAL - MSD Animal Health (known as Merck Animal Health in the United States and Canada) today announced the launch of the FORTEGRA® vaccine in Latin America to protect broilers against coccidiosis, a parasitic disease of the intestinal tract.

FORTEGRA contains the coccidiosis strains found in broiler houses, including precocious and classic strains of E. maxima, and results in faster immunity and a broader protection, compared to conventional vaccines.

FORTEGRA is effective in controlling all relevant strains of coccidiosis in broilers, including E. acervulina, E. mivati, E. maxima and E. tenella.

The vaccine simultaneously exposes flocks to two strains of the E. maxima species of coccidiosis, one of them a precocious strain that stimulates earlier, stronger immunity.

Earlier immunity allows more time for compensatory growth and can prevent performance losses.

“Vaccination is an important alternative for controlling coccidiosis in broiler flocks, as using in-feed anticoccidials allows the disease to progress at a sub-clinical level that is difficult to detect but can result in poor growth, uniformity, feed conversion and breast meat yield,” said Dr Fernando Vargas, Global Technical Director, MSD Animal Health.

“MSD Animal Health is pleased to introduce FORTEGRA, which will help producers improve flock performance and minimise economic losses associated with the disease.”

A pen study demonstrated that FORTEGRA protects more birds and at a faster rate, compared to a conventional vaccine and a control group.

Fourteen days after vaccination, both demonstrated significant partial protection (78 per cent and 69 per cent of birds protected, respectively) compared to a control group (12 per cent of birds protected).

At 17 days after vaccination, the FORTEGRA® sample demonstrated significantly better protection (92 per cent) than the conventional vaccine (59 per cent) and the control group (16 per cent).

At 21 days post-vaccination, FORTEGRA continued to protect more than 90 per cent of birds, compared to 78 per cent for the conventional vaccine and 3 per cent for the control group.

FORTEGA also resulted in lower lesion scores compared to the conventional and control groups at 14, 17 and 21 days post-vaccination.

Low-level intestinal lesions caused by subclinical coccidiosis can occur late in the flock cycle and can have adverse effects on weight gain, days to market, feed conversion and meat yield.

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