Positive Opinion for Circovac Use in Piglets

UK - Merial Animal Health has received a positive opinion from the Committee for Medical Products for Veterinary Use (CVMP) with regard to a variation to the marketing authorisation for its PCV2 vaccine, Circovac®.
calendar icon 6 December 2010
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The agreed change concerns the use of the vaccine in piglets, complementing its current authorisation for the vaccination of sows.

Circovac was the first PCV2 vaccine to be launched anywhere in the world and has been used under special license in the UK since 2006. It received its full centralised EU licence for use in sows in June 2007.

PCV2 (Porcine Circovirus Type 2) is widely acknowledged to be one of the greatest problems affecting the pig industry in recent years. It hit the UK in the late 1990s, and has been estimated to have cost the industry across Europe anything up to £468 million per year.

PCV2 is involved in the following Porcine Circovirus Diseases (PCDs):

  • Post-weaning Multi-systemic Wasting Syndrome (PMWS)
  • Porcine dermatitis and nephropathy syndrome (PDNS)
  • Porcine respiratory disease complex (PRDC)
  • Proliferating and necrotising pneumonia (PNP)
  • Reproductive problems

Excellent results in overcoming PMWS in piglets have been achieved by vaccinating sows with Circovac through transferred immunity via the colostrum. However, vaccinating sows against PCV2 has also been shown to have a number of other benefits including:

  • Improved farrowing rates
  • Reduced numbers of still-births
  • Higher weaning weights
  • Improved sow performance

Recent research conducted by Leeds University on behalf of BPEX showed that one week after birth, piglets born to vaccinated sows were 100g heavier than those born to non-vaccinated sows. At three weeks of age the piglets were 240g heavier, and at weaning were 400g heavier.

Another study tracked fertility rates among sows before and after treatment with Circovac. It demonstrated that sows treated with the vaccine produced an extra piglet per litter.

So there are tangible benefits to be gained by vaccinating sows against PCV2 but there are also circumstances in which piglet vaccination may be necessary and can deliver excellent results:

  • When buying or mixing piglets from unknown PCV2 vaccination status breeding herds.
  • To achieve faster results while waiting for the progeny of vaccinated sows to be weaned.

Once adopted by the European Commission, the positive opinion of the CVMP on the use of Circovac in piglets will, therefore, help to deliver real PCV2 vaccination choice for farmers and vets alike whether treating sows, piglets or both.

Further Reading

- Find out more information on the diseases mentioned in this article by clicking here.

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