The mousetrap: customising vaccines for your herd

World Pork Expo 2018 – The Pig Site discusses exciting innovations in vaccine technology with Joe Roder, DVM, technical services manager, Merck Animal Health
calendar icon 13 June 2018
clock icon 3 minute read

Merck Animal Health, a global leader in vaccine development, have launched SEQUIVITY™ Technology, an innovative and highly advanced RNA Particle Technology used to create flexible, safe and precise vaccine solutions to new and evolving disease challenges.

Introducing the SEQUIVITY Technology

We’re excited to launch the SEQUIVITY Technology at the World Pork Expo. The technology is a novel approach to creating very customised vaccines for swine producers and veterinarians. It is a platform technology that allows us in, an innovative way, to create RNA particles for vaccines that are targeted to the specific diseases that the pig industry is having problems with at this point in time.

How does the platform function?

In working with the local veterinarian, we identify the diseases and challenges that they are having, we get diagnostic samples and take them to the lab. We identify what the causative organisms are and then we get the gene sequences (genetic information) for those particular causative organisms, which we can actually analyse to identify which are the more prevalent strains of a disease-causing organism in that particular sample, herd or area.

We can then decide what we should build our vaccine to.

It’s an opportunity to be a little more proactive rather than reactive, which is exciting for us. It allows us to produce a vaccine that a particular herd or farm really needs.

It’s a very customised approach. Sometimes we find that the areas and farms that have the most problems with disease, there will be many different strains that we have to work out which ones to use in vaccine development.

This provides a tool to really work with a producer and their veterinarian on their goals and objectives for getting a handle on a disease.

What does this mean for producers?

If they are currently satisfied with their vaccination programme, the SEQUIVITY Technology is probably not necessary, but for those that are having challenges and need to do something different, i.e. those struggling with flu, this technology will change the way they manage disease in their herd.

Flu viruses mutate – in human medicine, we see if a different flu vaccine every year. With SEQUIVITY Technology, we’re launching a regional flu project, where we create the most updated flu vaccines based on the strains that we find in specific region throughout the united states – this will be updated twice a year. Every six months we will develop the most up to date flu vaccine for each region in the US.

That tool will allow producers and veterinarians to do a better job of disease management and bring a better mousetrap to the game.

The Pig Site Newsdesk

Emily Houghton

Editor, The Pig Site

Emily Houghton is a Zoology graduate from Cardiff University and was the editor of The Pig Site from October 2017 to May 2020. Emily has worked in livestock husbandry, and has written, conducted and assisted with research projects regarding the synthesis of welfare and productivity of free-range food species.

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