Intrauterine PED Vaccination Offers Alternative to Needles

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Farmscape for February 23, 2022

Full Interview 7:03 Listen

Intrauterine vaccination to protect sows and their offspring from Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea offers a potential alternative to needles.
The Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization has developed the first intrauterine vaccines to protect sows, gilts and their piglets from Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus. Over the next year researchers will be assessing various formulations to determine which are the most protective to the sow and what gets passed on to protect the piglets. Dr. Heather Wilson, a research scientist with VIDO, notes when you administer a vaccine into the muscle with a needle, especially with livestock, you worry about needle breakage as well as stress to the animals.

Clip-Dr. Heather Wilson-Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization:
We’ve always been interested in using alternative routes of immunization to try to get away from simply doing needle-based vaccines to see if we can administer the vaccines to the mucosal sites where the disease actually manifests so we were looking at the uterus. We know that the uterus is being accessed about three times a year during breeding and we thought that that might be a very good time to administer a vaccine to the uterus and protect the pigs from reproductive diseases. What we have done is we’ve taken advantage of the normal breeding practices and we’re coupling breeding with immunization. In that case we don’t require needles. We administer the vaccine into the semen bag and then that gets attached to a catheter and then that gets taken up into the uterus so it’s a lot less stressful for the animals and it’s nice that it is targeting the uterus which is one of the organs that the Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus attacks so it’s a very targeted approach.

Dr. Wilson acknowledges the work in still preliminary and she anticipates it will take several years before a product is commercially available.

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