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Intrauterine vaccination shows promise for protecting sows and gilts from disease.

Intrauterine vaccination is showing promise as an option for protecting sows and gilts from disease.

3 April 2020, at 11:24am

Researchers with Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization at the University of Saskatchewan are evaluating the potential of providing intrauterine vaccinations to sows and gilts along with the semen during artificial insemination. Dr Heather Wilson, a research scientist with VIDO-InterVac, says the initial single dose trial showed intrauterine vaccination to be safe but the vaccine response was low.

sow and piglets in a free farrowing pen

"In this granting cycle we're putting in multiple vaccinations and we've got some very encouraging results," says Dr Wilson, speaking to Farmscape.

"We saw antibody response against our intrauterine antigens and we actually saw, it's called a cell mediated immune response and we actually showed that our piglets from our vaccinated gilts had some limited response against PEDv versus the control animals.

"We have to make some modification to our adjuvant and maybe into our dose and see if we can augment that response but we were very excited by the results with our first multidose vaccination that we actually saw some protection.

"So we've shown that we can formulate vaccines that target the uterus and get a B-Cell or antibody mediated and a T-Cell immune response which is something that we didn't know before.

"We showed that we can formulate the vaccine so it doesn't have a negative effect on sperm and it doesn't have a negative effect on fertility.

"We've vaccinated these animals several times and the number of healthy piglets born doesn't appear to be decreasing.

"There's no negative effect on fertility so we just need to further optimise or increase the vaccine response so we can show better protection against disease and we'd like to introduce a disease model that actually affects the gilts or the sows.

"PRRS, circovirus or something like that would be ideal."

To learn more about this work contact [email protected]