ANALYSIS - The growing global demand for antibiotic justification and stewardship has MSD Animal Health (known as Merck Animal Health in the US and Canada) turning to prevention options rather than treatment, writes Sarah Mikesell for ThePigSite.
Rick Sibbel, DVM and Executive Director of Technical Services at Merck Animal Health, speaks with ThePigSite's Sarah Mikesell about antibiotic stewardship.
"At Merck, we are very interested in the prevention of disease and that solution is vaccines, and as a result, we believe the more prevention of disease that you have, the less antibiotics that you will ultimately need," said Rick Sibbel, DVM and Executive Director of Technical Services at Merck Animal Health. "To that end, one of the exciting products that we're bringing to the swine industry is Porcilis Ileitis. Ileitis is an enteric disease, a chronic problematic disease where malabsorption occurs due to the organism that causes the enteric problem."
Having been on the market for about eight months, Sibbel said producers are seeing great progress in the field.
"We've already seen that when our producers use our ileitis vaccine, they see less enteric disease which means less antibiotic use. That's just one example of the sort of antibiotic justification and stewardship that we believe in at Merck," he said. "We will continue to look at the prevention scene using vaccination as a tool to help with the antibiotic decision process and the antibiotic justification process."
Ileitis is a finisher disease, meaning late stage finishers tend to have most of the problems with ileitis. Typically, it's the result of diet, fast growth rate and bacteria on the farm.
It is a very impactful disease, and as with many swine diseases, it's not a big problem for some operations, while others must deal with it almost every day, he said.
"Ileitis is in every country of the world, so it is a global issue. It's an organism that is ubiquitous in swine operations, and we expect the vaccine to have some application beyond the US borders as it gets registered in other countries," Dr. Sibbel concluded.