Ag News

As HPAI detections continue, two vaccines shown effective

by Compiled by Georgia Farm Bureau

Posted on Jun 07, 2023 at 0:00 AM

The current outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) that began in February 2022 has continued, though recent detections have come mainly in wild animals and backyard poultry flocks. The disease poses little threat to human health but carries massive economic consequences for poultry producers, and the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) points out that the prolonged nature of the current outbreak makes it quite different from the last major outbreak in 2015.

In a May 5 installment of AFBF’s Market Intel, AFBF Economist Bernt Nelson wrote that HPAI has come to be regarded as a long-term problem rather than one that comes and goes.

Nelson pointed out that 85% of HPAI infections in poultry flocks are introduced through outside factors like contact with wild birds.

Meanwhile, researchers in The Netherlands have confirmed two HPAI vaccines effective in laboratory tests involving laying hens.

The vaccine study, which tested four different vaccines, was conducted at Wageningen Bioveterinary Research, part of Wageningen University & Research (WUR), in collaboration with Utrecht University, Royal GD and WUR, on behalf of the Dutch Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality (LNV).

The two effective vaccines are so-called HVT-H5 vaccines, one produced by Ceva Sante Animale and one produced by Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health.

“The so-called HVT-H5 vaccines offer protection against disease symptoms in laying hens and prevent the spread of the virus,” said Nancy Beerens, head of the Dutch National Reference Laboratory for avian influenza.

Both HVT-H5 vaccines have been found to be 100% effective in preventing disease and mortality after infection with the HPAI H5N1 virus. This is in contrast to the other two vaccines in which disease was observed. The study showed that both HVT-H5 vaccines prevent virus spread between chickens.

Beerens said the results make the HVT-H5 vaccines good candidates for research in on-farm conditions.

Visit the WUR website for more details about the HPAI vaccine research.

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