New advance in protecting egg laying flocks against E.coli

Extend protection against E. coli infection for egg layers and breeding stock
calendar icon 15 June 2022
clock icon 2 minute read
By: Zoetis

The new opportunity to extend protection against E. coli infection for egg layers and breeding stock is seen as a significant advance for the poultry industry. Poulvac E coli was developed in part in the UK as the first vaccine of its type against this disease. It has made a major impact in many countries since its launch by Zoetis in 2012.

For laying and breeding pullets the previous UK and European data sheet did not allow use in birds in lay or within six weeks before the onset of the laying period. This limitation has now been removed and replaced with an in-lay safety claim, allowing the vaccine to be used throughout lay.

“The stated duration of immunity is 12 weeks, and many flock owners choose to vaccinate multiple times during the rearing period to maximum protection levels” said John Kenyon, Zoetis UK National Veterinary Manager. “This new approval gives them much greater flexibility in protecting their birds. The timing of vaccination in rearing can now be adjusted to include use in the six weeks before start of lay with the opportunity for further use during the laying period which is now often extended from 72 to 80 weeks or even longer.”

He said extending the protection could be particularly beneficial where there had been E. coli issues in the past and to react to disease occurring in a particular flock that had not responded to medication or other intervention.

Over the past ten years the vaccine has become routinely used throughout the egg laying sector and has proved particularly helpful in protecting valuable breeding stock.

The new extension to use follows two laboratory-based safety studies, a field trial and data from field experience of its use in lay in three countries. One study was on more than 10,000 layer parents un Denmark looking at the effect of vaccination on bird health, laying performance and hatching results. This found no adverse effect on health or performance of the birds when administered in lay, and the vaccine strain was not shed or present in or on the eggs.

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