Avian Insight VOL1-2002 | Public Health | Vaccines

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cholera is much more likely to occur if pullets and cockerels are moved to the hen house on the same day they are vaccinated with a live fowl cholera vaccine. Many companies have eliminated the problem by vaccinating the birds one to two weeks before moving them and by using a tetracycline antibiotic in the first load of feed at the hen house. Another helpful procedure is to use one of the milder live vaccines, PM-1 or M-9. Giving a dose of conventional fowl cholera bacterin or the conventional bacterin that also contains serotype 3,4 at the first vaccination time, followed by a live vaccination at 16-20 weeks, can greatly reduce vaccine-induced cholera. Likewise, first vaccinating with live vaccine followed by a bacterin has been used successfully. Commercial market turkeys, if vaccinated against fowl cholera, are vaccinated almost exclusively with live vaccines.

All three live vaccines are widely used. Most companies begin oral vaccination at 5-6 weeks of age and repeat vaccination every 3-4 weeks. While protection from oral vaccination is short-lived, frequent vaccination provides broad-spectrum protection. Because vaccine-induced cholera can also be a problem in turkeys, it has led to the increased use of the milder live vaccines. Many cases of vaccine-induced cholera in market turkeys result from vaccination of turkeys suffering from concurrent diseases such as Newcastle disease, bordetellosis, and colibacillosis. Therefore, vaccination of sick flocks with live fowl cholera vaccines should be avoided when possible. Treatment of fowl cholera has changed very little in recent years. Traditionally, tetracyclines and sulfonamides were the most effective products available. Penicillin, which some P. multocida isolates are very sensitive to, can be very

effective in some cases. It is important to check for penicillin susceptibility on all P. multocida isolates, particularly those that do not respond clinically to tetracyclines and sulfonamides. Today, enrofloxacin is sometimes used to treat fowl cholera. It is much more effective than sulfonamides, tetracyclines or penicillin. In summary, fowl cholera continues to be a serious health problem in the poultry industry. Various strategies are available for its control by vaccination and treatment. Unfortunately, vaccination and treatment will not eliminate fowl cholera where the operation is heavily contaminated with P. multocida. It has been correctly stated that, “You can’t vaccinate your way out of a fowl cholera problem.” Vaccines are effective, but of equal, or perhaps greater, importance is rodent control. Fowl cholera is a disease that gets out of control because of improper hygiene and inadequate rodent control.

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A L O H M A N N A N I M A L H E A LT H I N T E R N AT I O N A L N E W S B R I E F

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FOWL CHOLERA IN COMMERCIAL POULTRY
John R. Glisson, DVM, MAM, PhD Poultry Diagnostic and Research Center University of Georgia Athens, GA Pasteurella multocida is the etiologic agent of fowl cholera, an acute or chronic bacterial septicemia of chickens, turkeys, quail, ducks, and other birds. The acute disease is characterized by high mortality. Lesions in affected birds may be totally unapparent or consist of an enlarged liver and spleen, petechial hemorrhages on internal organs or fibrinopurulent pneumonia. Mortality in the chronic disease is normally much lower and lesions may consist of purulent arthritis, encephalitis, osteomyelitis, peritonitis, pneumonia, or swollen wattles filled with caseated exudate. Pasteurella multocida is not a normal organism found in poultry houses. The organism is, however, a common inhabitant of the oral cavity of many animals including rats, mice, cats, and dogs as well as many species of wild animals. It is felt that P. multocida's initial introduction into a poultry house is by one of these animals, particularly rats and cats. It is, therefore,
In this issue of avian insight:

very important to maintain a hygiene program that minimizes contact between rats, cats and poultry. The single-most important measure for controlling fowl cholera may be rodent control. Many companies use cats inside breeder houses to control rats; and, in most instances, this program is successful. The P. multocida isolates typically isolated from cats are not typical of the isolates that infect chickens. However, once a P. multocida strain that is pathogenic for poultry is introduced into a flock, the cats, as well as the poultry, will become contaminated and the cats will then become a reservoir for the organism. In this situation, it is important to get rid of the cats before a new breeder flock is brought to that house. Currently, fowl cholera remains one of the most important bacterial diseases of chickens and turkeys. In many companies, fowl cholera is the most costly disease of broiler breeders. Almost all broiler breeders in the United States are vaccinated. Turkeys appear to be more susceptible to the disease, and it has caused serious losses to several companies in recent years. By instituting strict biosecurity measures and good hygiene procedures, many turkey companies have been able to eliminate vaccination in commercial turkeys on particular farms and in certain geographic locations. However, vaccination of commercial turkeys and turkey breeders is still widely practiced.

In recent years, fowl cholera in broilers has become more common. Usually these cases can be attributed to very poor farm hygiene and contact between broilers and carrier animals, such as rats and cats. Since vaccination is not practical in broilers, improved hygiene and rodent control must be used to prevent recurrence of the disease on contaminated farms. To understand the principles of fowl cholera vaccination, it is important to also understand the relevance of the serotyping system for P. multocida. There are 16 serotypes of P. multocida, numbered 1-16. Many isolates have characteristics of more than one serotype. For example, serotype 3,4 has characteristics of serotype 3 and serotype 4. The most common serotypes encountered in poultry are 1, 3, and 4 or combinations of those serotypes, such as 1,3 or 3,4. In recent surveys, serotype 3,4 has often been found to be the most common serotype isolated from both chickens and turkeys. Inactivated fowl cholera vaccines (bacterins) induce protection only against the serotypes of the isolates included in the bacterin. Since it is impractical to include all 16 P. multocida serotypes in a bacterin and since only a few serotypes commonly cause disease in poultry, most commercially-available fowl cholera bacterins contain serotypes 1, 3, and 4. These products, therefore, provide protection against only serotypes 1, 3, and 4, but these are the
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Gainesville, GA 30501 1146 Airport Parkway

Fowl Cholera......................P.1 From the President ............P.2

For further information: 770.532.3627 • 800.655.1342 • www.lahinternational.com

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from the president…
September 2001 marked our first anniversary, and it has been an active year. The introduction of Lohmann Animal Health International (LAHI) as a new global avian vaccine company began with the purchase of Vineland Laboratories, which we combined with Maine Biological Laboratories (MBL). We made significant investments and operational enhancements to double MBL’s production capacity and establish new distribution centers in New Jersey for international shipments and Georgia for national orders. The end result is a strong organization striving to meet the specialized needs of poultry producers, and we are very pleased with the reception the industry has given us. In December, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) officially recognized us as Lohmann Animal Health International by granting us a single license – USDA Establishment No. 196 – that encompasses our production facilities in Maine and New Jersey. This allows us to better utilize the equipment at either site for MBL- and Vineland-branded vaccines. Ultimately, this benefits our customers by lowering our manufacturing costs and ensuring a more consistent product supply. Our product focus The LAHI product focus is tightly centered on vaccines that protect the immune system. In effect, we leverage the birds’ immune systems to produce lower cost chicken meat and eggs. Essential to that focus is a wide variety of live infectious bursal disease vaccines,
Dave Zacek, President of Lohmann Animal Health International, Gainesville, Georgia, USA

most important serotypes in commercial poultry. Since serotype 3,4 is so common in our industry, bacterins are now available that contain a serotype 3,4 isolate. bursal tissue derived vaccine performed equal to and most times better than competitors in the trials. In the studies, chicks collected from the vaccinated and control flocks were challenged with a variety of standard and variant IBD field strains. Complete details are available upon request. We are excited to have such an excellent new breeder product to produce in our new, state-of-the-art facility in Maine,and are eagerly introducing it in U.S. and international markets. Your needs may be special We are acutely aware that regular commercial products cannot meet all of your vaccine needs; and, at times, you need an autogenous vaccine. These vaccines, produced under USDA license, are made from isolates taken from your operation. They are produced in our USDA-regulated plant and are tested for safety, but not efficacy. Efficacy is left to you to decide after use in your operation. If you are interested, contact our area manager or ask for our Autogenous Vaccine Guide, which describes the process in detail. (For US customers only). Visit us in Atlanta You can find us in force at booth number 715 in Atlanta at the International Poultry Exposition, Jan. 16-18. Come and learn about our IBD vaccines, our special adjuvants and our new, concentrated inactivated vaccines. Also, talk to us about ViBursa CE, the IBD vaccine that is “just right” for today’s broilers. In contrast, live P. multocida vaccines give broad protection against many serotypes, and all of the live vaccines are serotype 3,4. There are three live vaccines now available, the Clemson University (CU) strain, PM-1, and M-9. CU is the most virulent. M-9 is the mildest and PM-1 is intermediate in virulence. These products can be used orally in turkeys but must be injected by wing-web stab in chickens. Also, the live vaccines spread from bird-to-bird more easily in turkeys than chickens. Autogenous bacterins are a third type of vaccine used to control fowl cholera. Autogenous bacterins are inactivated vaccines which contain an isolate(s) that originated from a case of fowl cholera on a particular farm or complex and the autogenous bacterin is custom-manufactured for use at that site. Often companies find that certain farms or complexes continually have cases of fowl cholera caused by unusual serotypes such as 7 or 12. Autogenous bacterins are often used in such circumstances. Several laboratories are available to make autogenous fowl cholera bacterins but there are restrictions on their manufacture and use. The USDA requires that the isolates in an autogenous bacterin must originate from flocks of the company in which the bacterin is used. Also, autogenous bacterins cannot be combined in the same bottle with a USDAlicensed fowl cholera bacterin. There are several strategies for successful vaccination of broiler breeders. One common program is the use of two doses of

bacterin at 8-12 weeks and 16-20 weeks. The bacterins may be the conventional tri-valent bacterin, a conventional tri-valent bacterin that also contains a serotype 3,4 isolate, or an autogenous bacterin. Those programs that include only a conventional bacterin give protection against the most common serotypes but leave flocks susceptible to the less common serotypes. The programs that use conventional bacterins with the 3,4 isolate added have the advantages of the conventional bacterin programs with the addition of more protection directed at serotype 3,4. Use of autogenous bacterins allows companies to protect their flocks against serotypes that are not included in the conventional bacterins, but may leave their flocks susceptible to the more common serotypes. Since autogenous bacterins cannot be combined with the conventional bacterins by the manufacturer, many companies that use autogenous bacterins also inject their flocks with a conventional bacterin. Local tissue reaction at the site of injection of fowl cholera bacterins has been a problem for some companies. Because the USDA downgrades hen carcasses containing lesions in the breast muscle resulting from injection of fowl cholera bacterins, most companies have ceased injection of inactivated vaccines into the breast. Unfortunately, intramuscular breast injection is a very accurate application site for inactivated vaccine injection, and a site that is easy for a person to inject without injecting himself or herself. The other practical injection

sites are subcutaneously in the neck, the underside of the tail, and in the leg. Subcutaneous neck injection is very difficult to perform accurately for some injection crews and can result in people injecting themselves. Tail injection and leg injection are probably safer for crews and are easier to perform with accuracy. Injection accuracy is the most critical factor for a successful fowl cholera bacterin program. It is not unusual to find 20-40 percent of missed birds, particularly following subcutaneous neck injection. Many companies have added dye to the bacterins before use to aid in monitoring injection accuracy, but this practice has been frowned upon by USDA because the dye may persist in the tissues until processing time. It is important to monitor injection accuracy by examination of mortalities, culls, and sex-slips. Also, the ELISA system can be helpful to determine the approximate accuracy of the injection crew. Before the first bacterin injection, the flock should be negative by ELISA. Three weeks after injection, every bird that was injected should have measurable ELISA titers. Birds with no titers were likely missed. Broiler breeders can also be successfully protected against fowl cholera using live vaccines. All three types of live vaccines have been used successfully. The vaccines should be applied twice at 8-12 weeks and 16-20 weeks by wing-web stab. Live vaccines give broad protection but may result in vaccineinduced cholera in some circumstances. Vaccine-induced cholera can usually be minimized if certain procedures are followed. Vaccine-induced

from the very mild to the more invasive. We also offer a mild tissue culture IBD strain in combination with HVT Marek’s vaccine. Our leading live IBD vaccine, ViBursa CE™ is “just right” for today’s broilers in that it effectively reduces the clinical signs of IBD and immunosuppression while retaining enough invasiveness to be an “intermediate” vaccine. Our inactivated line is best known for the first USDA-licensed bursal tissue derived IBD vaccine. From that R&D-driven beginning, we have improved the formulas and also increased the potencies so, today, our bursal tissue derived inactivated vaccines are second-to-none. Exciting field research results During this first year, we completed three separate studies to examine field performance of our 100 percent bursal tissue derived inactivated bursal disease vaccine called MBL® BTO2. In our work, commercial broiler breeders were vaccinated with MBL® BTO2+REO either once (with a competitor vaccine as the first vaccine) or twice, using MBL® BTO2 REO alone. All three studies showed that this 100 percent

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