Farmscape for September 4, 2019
A novel approach for vaccinating sows and gilts offers a new potentially safe effective method for protecting both the mother pig and her piglets from disease.
Researchers with VIDO-InterVac are examining a new method of vaccination, which involves administering vaccine directly into the uterus of the pig during artificial insemination.
Dr. Heather Wilson, a research scientist with VIDO-InterVac, the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization at the University of Saskatchewan, says the concept was developed to fill a specific need.
Clip-Dr. Heather Wilson-VIDO-InterVac:
Most of the diseases that are important for the pig industry actually impact reproduction or they impact the newborn piglets.
So our thought was why not try to develop a vaccine that targets the uterus, the site for reproduction and, if we immunize the moms, then she can deliver passive immunity to the babies once they're born through her colostrum.
Another very important point is that we wanted to work within current husbandry practices.
The last thing we wanted to do is to ask producers to round up their animals, change their work day to accommodate a new vaccination schedule.
We realized that 90 percent of our gilts and our sows are inseminated artificially, so using AI.
During this time period they undergo what's called a lordosis response which means the sows will freeze up for about 10 minutes so it's a very safe time to immunize them and it's a time period that is happening anyway.
You're inseminating, why not administer the vaccine directly to the uterus along with the semen and go from there?
Dr. Wilson says initial results suggest vaccine administered to the uterus provide a strong antibody response and there appear to be no negative effects on the semen or on the piglets or their mothers.
She says more trials will be needed to but so far it seems to be very promising.
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