Zoetis today announced the availability in the UK and Ireland of the first specific vaccine against the QX strain of the infectious bronchitis virus — Poulvac® IBQX
For the past two years the vaccine has only been available with a special import certificate from the Veterinary Medicines Directorate for use on flocks where the QX virus has been isolated.
This variant IB strain has been an increasing problem in European countries over the last 10 years and was first seen in the UK in South-East England in 2007. Since then QX has been isolated from a number of commercial layer and broiler flocks, leading to inferior performance and increased mortality.
“Poulvac IB QX adds another protection dimension to our extensive IB vaccine portfolio,” said James Porritt, Zoetis Poultry Manager for the UK and Ireland. “The Zoetis IB portfolio offers the widest choice and with Poulvac IBMM + ARK we have the UK’s only bivalent live vaccine licensed for day-old use providing a Massachusetts strain and protection against 793/B/91 variant type strains lasting for six weeks post vaccination. Other IB Vaccines include Poulvac H120 and the UK’s only other bivalent live vaccine Poulvac IB Primer.”
Poulvac IB QX vaccine is based on a live attenuated virus and is administered as a coarse spray to broilers from day-old and to layer pullets or broiler breeders from seven days of age. Protection has been demonstrated by challenge study to last for 63 days after vaccination.
The vaccine is often used on the farm, but can be administered to chicks at the hatchery if adequate controls are in place to avoid spread to other chicks that will be moved to non-QX exposed flocks.
“In countering the QX virus strain some existing vaccines have been used to provide a degree of cross-protection,” said Dr Stuart Andrews, Poultry Veterinary Manager for Zoetis. “However, it is important to appreciate that Poulvac IB QX is a vaccine homologous to any IB QX field strain and so will provide even better protection.
“Furthermore, our in-house PCR and DNA sequencing service allows us to monitor carefully the field situation to ascertain which IB strains are currently causing field outbreaks and enable us to recommend adaptations to particular vaccination programmes”.
“The full approval for the Poulvac vaccine will make it easier and more effective to tackle specific QX infections without having to apply for an import certificate.”