How effective is Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae vaccination in pigs less than three weeks of age?

Patricia K. Holyoake, PhD; Anthony P. L. Callinan, PhD

Complete article is available online.

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Objective: To assess the cost effectiveness of administering a two-dose Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae (MH) vaccine to pigs before weaning at 13 to 17 days of age.

Materials and methods: Two hundred litters of piglets on a commercial breeder farm (Site One) were randomly allocated to two treatment groups: nonvaccinated or vaccinated with MH vaccine at 4 days of age and at weaning (off-label use of the vaccine). At weaning, treatment groups were commingled in two nursery barns on Site Two, segregated by gender (875 castrates, 911 females). At 8 weeks, vaccinates and nonvaccinates were randomly allocated to either bedded shelters or concrete-floored barns at Site Three. Pigs were processed at 26 weeks of age and carcass weights, P2 backfat, and lung lesions for individuals recorded.

Results: Carcass weight (95.91 kg) and P2 backfat (15.35 mm) in vaccinated pigs were greater (P < .05) than in nonvaccinated pigs (92.47 kg and 14.13 mm, respectively). Average lung score and incidence of chronic lung lesions were lower in vaccinates. Mortality rate, carcass weight variation, and incidence of pleurisy, acute lung lesions, and pleuropneumonia at processing did not differ between treatment groups. Profitability was greater in vaccinates by AU$5.14 per pig.

Implications: Under the conditions of this study, vaccinating pigs for MH at 4 and 13 to 17 days of age increased profitability. Profitability of this strategy depends on price received for pig meat (influenced by backfat depth) and costs of vaccine and extra feed.

Keywords: Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae, vaccine

RIS citationCite as: Holyoake PK, Callinan APL. How effective is Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae vaccination in pigs less than three weeks of age?. J Swine Health Prod 2006;14(4):189-195.

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