There’s no question the troublesome disease porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome plagues operations. Fostera PRRS from Zoetis has been a solid performer in many herds, and it gets a nod as a New Product Tour finalist because the product has key new claims that offer producers more flexibility for their operations.
Darrell Neuberger, a senior area veterinarian for Zoetis, talked through the product with the panel. “Before we just had one modified-live PRRS product,” he said. “This gives producers and veterinarians another option.”
He noted that initially the product just had the respiratory claim, and the key change is that Zoetis has added a reproductive claim. Safety of this product has been demonstrated when sows or gilts are vaccinated prior to breeding or at any stage of pregnancy. Protection against reproductive disease, however, was demonstrated when animals were vaccinated six weeks prior to breeding. Consult your veterinarian for appropriate use and timing of vaccination.
“We also added a 1-day-of-age respiratory label claim so you can vaccinate pigs as early as 1 day of age,” he noted. “And in certain cases being able to vaccinate a pig early gives the immune system enough time to actually produce antibodies, and produce protection for the pig.”
Neuberger noted that for optimal protection you want to get vaccine into pigs 30 days before you see exposure to the PRRS virus. “However, we have data that demonstrates vaccination with Fostera PRRS helps protection against PRRSv challenge as early as two weeks post-vaccination.”
Panel member Tom Miller asked if, with this new label, the recommendation was for all sows and pigs to be vaccinated. Neuberger replied: “And I think the best answer to that is that every situation is unique. For me to say, ‘here’s one protocol I would recommend’ would not be right.”
Putting the vaccine to work
Panel member Larry Coleman, DVM, asked in a high-risk area, what the normal protocol for use of Fostera PRRS would be. Neuberger responded that in a stable negative sow herd “the one obvious thing is that if you do vaccinate pigs in a sow herd, vaccine virus is going to shed and spread. Our vaccine strain is unique in that while we do get nasal and oral shed, several trials have demonstrated that we get minimal aerosol shed.
“Another unique attribute is the duration of immunity for both the reproductive and respiratory claims. The reproductive DOI claim is 19 weeks, and the respiratory DOI claim is 26 weeks in the 1-day-old pig So, it does give us the longest duration of immunity [on the market] for both the reproductive and respiratory forms of the disease.”
Source of the strain
The single-strain virus in the vaccine was isolated in Indiana in 1995, and Neuberger said he uses the analogy that “that strain is kind of the root of the tree and everything kind of branched off from that strain. So I think it makes it pretty pertinent today.”
The product is delivered in a 2 mL dose, and the piglet dose is the same as the sow dose. The vaccine should be used within four hours of mixing. “We say mix it in the morning, shoot it in the morning,” Neuberger said.
The respiratory form of the vaccine has been out for two years, and the new claims — which are the reproductive claim and the 1-day-of-age respiratory claim — came in early 2015.
Miller asked about the 1-7-4 strain of PRRS that recently hit some herds hard in eastern Iowa hard recently and how this vaccine might perform. Neuberger noted the company is doing trials to look at that to help producers and veterinarians understand their situations better, noting this new strain is a “nasty bug.”
Coleman, a DVM, commented that “we’re still looking for a home run product [for PRRS],” and Neuberger replied: “We still are, too, but in the meantime we have a great tool for managing immunity. Along with the correct implementation, Fostera PRRS can help mitigate the negative economic impact of both the respiratory and reproductive forms of the disease.”
These new label claims will help herds battling this troublesome issue. You can learn more at zoetisUS.com/fosteraprrs.