HIPRA's New Vaccine Gives Unique Coccidiosis Protection

HIPRA's Coccidiosis Corporate Group Product Manager, Martina Dardi, talks about the problems poultry farmers face with coccidiosis, and the company's new vaccine to combat the disease.
calendar icon 14 October 2015
clock icon 5 minute read

1. What are the costs of coccidiosis – to businesses, and to the industry as a whole?

Martina Dardi discusses the impacts of coccidiosis

The cost of coccidiosis is based on direct production losses and indirect costs through the application of control measures. Coccidiosis causes death and in less severe cases affects birds causing intermittent diarrhoea, poor growth rates, poor feed conversion and variation in body weight.

However, we have to make a distinction: for the broiler industry what is impacting more is the subclinical coccidiosis which mines the efficiency with which food is digested, whereas in the breeders industry the biggest concern is clinical coccidiosis which causes the death of the bird and promotes opportunistic pathologies associated with intestinal damage or birds’ stress.

Worldwide losses due to coccidiosis in poultry are estimated to be around US$1.5 billion/year.

2. How does coccidiosis affect animal welfare?

From an animal welfare point of view, coccidiosis and its secondary effects also negatively affect the environment in which birds are living.

Diarrhoea is a primary cause of wet litter which has been shown to promote parasite and bacterial development.

Wet litter is also a major cause of ammonia emissions, leading to animals suffering from foot-pad dermatitis and damage to the trachea with associated respiratory diseases.

Click here to view HIPRA's video about the new vaccine.

3. How can these problems be prevented?

Actually it depends on which category of poultry we are taking into consideration.

In broilers the most used prevention method by far is the inclusion of in-feed anticoccidials.

These products have many merits but the two main issues associated with their use are: (i) reduced sensitivity of Eimeria parasites when a certain product is used too long or too often; and (ii) cross resistance between certain compounds. Therefore, there is an intensified need for alternative coccidiosis prevention approaches.

One, increasingly popular is the regular use of coccidiosis vaccines in rotation with anticoccidials as part of a long term prevention strategy.

When we come to breeders the situation is completely different, in fact almost all the breeders use coccidiosis vaccines as unique prevention method. In this category of animals which live much longer compared to a broiler, the use of anticoccidials would result in an expensive and in most case inefficient prevention method.

4. What is special about HIPRA’s new product?

There are several aspects of EVALON® which are differential from the other products already existing on the market:

  • The vaccine vial will come in the same box with its solvent, HIPRAMUNE®T, which contains: a dedicated colouring agent and a vanillin aroma able to enhance the intake of the vaccine even under low light conditions; and an adjuvant which modulates the immune response, for the first time in a live vaccine;
  • A demonstrated duration of immunity up to 60 weeks of age;
  • One dedicated spray machine for the hatchery administration: HIPRAspray®;
  • One traceability system –HIPRAlink®- integrated in the spray machine and able to trace all the steps of the vaccination process.

5. How was the product developed, and how does it work?

EVALON® is a live attenuated vaccine whose composition has been studied to protect breeders and laying hens from coccidiosis. All the strains have been attenuated for precociousness and during field trials we demonstrated both safety and efficacy of these strains.

Basically the vaccine is a suspension of sporulated oocysts that soon after the ingestion they start their replication in the chicks’ guts. EVALON® has been studied to be administered at one day of age via coarse spray, thus the onset of immunity is achieved starting from 21 days of age.

In this way, birds are already immunised when the coccidiosis field challenge usually occurs which is starting from 28 days of age.

6. How is the product administered, so farmers can make sure their birds are protected?

We truly believe that a good vaccination is crucial in order to obtain a correct and on-time onset of the immunity.

For this reason, we have pushed ourselves even further and HIPRA has decided to develop a dedicated spray device, HIPRAspray®, a special vaccination device for the hatchery with specific precision mechanisms that improve coarse spray application and HIPRAlink®, a system that traces the entire process from the preparation of the vaccine in the hatchery to the arrival of the chicks on the rearing farm.

This is the first spray machine on the market which is able to give traceability to the entire vaccination process.

7. How effective is the product?

EVALON® is the only coccidiosis vaccine worldwide with a demonstrated duration of immunity up to 60 weeks of age. This has been achieved thanks to adjuvant that is contained in the vaccine solvent HIPRAMUNE®T. In fact, the adjuvant boosts the cellular immune response by activating the production of Interferon-γ and IL-2, which are fundamental for protection against coccidiosis.

In this way, nowadays EVALON® is the vaccine able to ensure “a lifetime of immunity”.

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