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Studies demonstrate benefits of dual-needle in ovo vaccination for Marek’s disease

In a challenge study believed to be the first of its kind, chickens vaccinated in ovo with a dual-needle delivery system were better protected from Marek’s disease than those receiving the same vaccine with a conventional single-needle in ovo delivery system.1

In a US study, broiler eggs were equally divided and injected at 18 days of incubation with a herpesvirus of turkey (HVT) vaccine, commonly used by the broiler industry to protect against Marek’s disease. Half the eggs were vaccinated using the Embrex® Inovoject® dual-needle system, and for the other half, a single-needle system was used.

At 3 days of age, investigators challenged both groups of vaccinates with the RB1B strain of Marek’s disease virus and then evaluated the birds for 7 weeks, Taylor Barbosa, DVM, MS, PhD, ACPV, director of outcomes research, Zoetis, said at the WVPA conference.

The level of protection, determined by the absence of tumors, was significantly better in birds from the dual-needle group compared to the single-needle group and a group of unvaccinated controls. “This indicates that with the dual-needle system, the delivery of the vaccine was correct and allowed for better replication of vaccine virus,” Barbosa said.

The dual-needle group also had better weight gain (Figure 1), he said.

Figure 1. Bodyweight at 49 days of age after challenge

Figure 1. Bodyweight at 49 days of age after challenge

“To our knowledge, this was the first study that employed a viral challenge to compare the efficacy of in ovo vaccine application devices for delivery of an HVT vaccine,” he commented.

Barbosa also presented results from two field studies conducted at commercial broiler hatcheries in Brazil, where the dual-needle in ovo system resulted in better Marek’s disease vaccine coverage compared to subcutaneous vaccine administration at 1 day of age.2

1 Barbosa t, et al. Eficacy and Marek’s disease protection comparison between different vaccination methods. 2013 World Veterinary Poultry Association conference, Nantes, France. Zoetis inc. US study #03-12-70R7B.

2 Data on file. Zoetis Inc. Studies #3Z10R-04-11-530 and #01-11-70R7B.


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