Producers get access to footrot vaccine

Producers get access to footrot vaccine

Analysis
University of Sydney School of Veterinary Science has developed a virulent footrot vaccine.

University of Sydney School of Veterinary Science has developed a virulent footrot vaccine.

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A VACCINE to help cure footrot is now available to Australian sheep producers.

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A VACCINE to help cure footrot is now available to Australian sheep producers.

Developed by the University of Sydney School of Veterinary Science and manufactured by Tréidlia Biovet, the vaccine can be used after tests determine which of the 10 virulent serogroups of footrot are present in the flock.

One or two serogroups can be incorporated into the vaccine at a time.

University of Sydney School of Veterinary Science professor Richard Whittington said swabs from hoofs with footrot were required before tests determine which of the 10 serogroups were present.

“The correct serogroups can then be incorporated into the vaccine,” he said.

Nilon Farm Health sheep veterinary consultant Paul Nilon said a number of flocks in Tasmania had been treated with serogroup specific vaccines and usually achieved good results.

“If we have identified all the virulent serogroups present and the flock manager is meticulous with the post vaccination inspections.”

Footrot is a contagious bacterial disease of sheep and goats, with advanced virulent footrot a painful, crippling condition.

Senior research fellow Om Dhungyel, who conducted most of the field research, said there were very good cure rates and at least six months protection if no more than two serogroups were injected at one time.

“A priming and booster shot four weeks apart of vaccination can be commenced three months after starting the first round if more than two serogroups are present in the flock,” Dr Dhungyel said.

“It is still crucial to follow up vaccination with several rounds of thorough foot inspection and culling of any remaining infected sheep.”

It is available for all but the rare M serogroup.

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