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Scientific Literature & Other Content

Q&A

What does VAXXITEK® HVT+IBD do?

VAXXITEK HVT + IBD is indicated to aid in the prevention of Marek's disease (as does an HVT strain) and infectious bursal disease (IBD; also known as Gumboro disease).

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Why is it important to vaccinate against Marek’s Disease and IBD?

These are two of the most common and significant immunosuppressive viral diseases in poultry, causing illness, death, and poor growth and performance. IBD and Marek's disease cannot be treated, but vaccination can aid in the prevention of disease caused by these viruses.

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What should we know about VAXXITEK HVT + IBD and various IBD strains?

In more than 65 scientific papers published to date (see all) VAXXITEK HVT + IBD induced clinical protection against numerous different pathotypes of the IBD virus found worldwide, including classic, variant, and very virulent strains.*

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We don't currently face an IBD challenge—why should we use VAXXITEK HVT + IBD?

IBD is endemic in every region in the world and is highly contagious, with new strains emerging frequently, so outbreaks can occur at any time. There is no treatment, so prevention is critical. In addition, a sub-clinical form of the disease may be present, causing significant immunosupression and leading to poor performance and economic loss even in the absence of outward disease signs.16-17 Several published studies have demonstrated that in helping to prevent IBD and Marek's disease, VAXXITEK HVT + IBD also fights this hidden threat of immunnosuppression and helps you lay a strong immune foundation for flock health.5-8, 13-15, 31

More on our Customized Vaccination Programs based on an immune foundation

Is VAXXITEK HVT + IBD safe? Does it cause bursal damage?

Several studies have demonstrated VAXXITEK HVT + IBD to have a good safety profile, providing strong protection against IBD while preserving the integrity of the bursa of Fabricius, causing no gross bursal lesions and negligible microscopic lesions.10-12 This is in part due to the vaccine's use of vector technology, which eliminates the need to use a whole, pathogenic IBD virus.

More on Efficacy, Safety, & Health Benefits of Disease Reduction
More on the Technology Behind VAXXITEK HVT + IBD

How does VAXXITEK HVT+IBD work?

Vector technology allows VAXXITEK HVT + IBD to immunize against two diseases—Marek's disease and IBD—in a single vaccine, using a mode of action that eliminates the need to calculate IBD vaccination dates, for a simple, straightforward vaccination protocol.

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What kinds of businesses can use VAXXITEK HVT + IBD?

All poultry hatchery operations can use VAXXITEK HVT + IBD—it can be used in healthy broiler, layer, and breeder chickens.* It is currently registered and commercially available in more than 75 countries across the globe (as a vaccine product under the VAXXITEK HVT + IBD trade name), with additional market approvals pending. If you're not sure whether VAXXITEK HVT + IBD is offered in your country, please contact us.

How could VAXXITEK HVT +IBD affect poultry performance or business productivity?

By aiding in the prevention of IBD and Marek’s disease, VAXXITEK® HVT + IBD has been shown in numerous published studies to help poultry businesses’ productivity, since flocks with a lower disease burden demonstrate a stronger immune health status and often perform better across several key parameters such as weight gain,5-7 feed conversion ratios,5, 7 uniformity,5 and more.
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How is VAXXITEK HVT + IBD administered?

The vaccine is administered in the controlled environment of the hatchery, either in-ovo (at 18-19 days of incubation) or by subcutaneous injection in healthy day-old chicks.
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What if our business is not prepared for hatchery vaccination?

Hatchery vaccination eliminates the labor and uncertainties associated with field vaccination. It's a worthwhile investment, and Merial is here to help you with it.  Our industry-leading Vaccination Technologies & Services (VTS) group will assist you through the entire transition, providing audits and site preparedness plans, equipment, training, and more. More on Merial VTS.

What advantages does VAXXITEK HVT + IBD offer beyond disease prevention?

VAXXITEK HVT + IBD helps reduce labor on the farm by moving IBD vaccination to a single dose at the hatchery, potentially enabling more control and accuracy over the vaccination process. It has been shown to be a high-value, cost-effective addition to many poultry businesses. 
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Does VAXXITEK HVT + IBD contribute to viral spread or shedding in the field?

VAXXITEK HVT + IBD uses only the viral protein-2 (VP2) of the IBD virus to stimulate immunity rather than using a whole IBD virus. Vaccinating with VAXXITEK HVT + IBD does not introduce a whole IBD virus into the flock, and thus does not contribute to viral shed in the field.3 To protect against Marek's disease, VAXXITEK HVT + IBD uses the turkey herpesvirus (HVT), a virus long-established to stimulate immunity against Marek's but that is itself non-pathogenic to chickens. Moreover, a published study on long-term use of VAXXITEK HVT + IBD in the field has shown an overall downward trend in IBD virus challenge.24
More on the Technology Behind VAXXITEK HVT + IBD

How does VAXXITEK HVT + IBD behave in the presence of maternal antibodies?

VAXXITEK HVT + IBD stimulates immunity against IBD by using only the viral protein-2 (VP2) of the IBD virus (rather than a whole IBD virus), and against Marek’s disease using the turkey herpesvirus (HVT). It has been demonstrated in published research that both IBD VP2 and HVT experience minimal interference from maternal antibodies in chickens.12 This means that VAXXITEK HVT + IBD can be administered early (in-ovo at 18-19 days of embryonation, or subcutaneously to healthy day-old chicks) to begin building immunity that will gradually take over as maternal antibodies decline.12
More on the Technology Behind VAXXITEK HVT + IBD

How can we use VAXXITEK HVT + IBD to optimize our vaccination program?

Concurrent use of some vaccines could result in adverse interactions, which can reduce vaccine efficacy. In general, developing a poultry health program with multiple vaccines is a complex task requiring specialized expertise, so we encourage you to speak with our Veterinary Services group. They can help you and your veterinary team develop a hatchery vaccination program tailored to your business and your particular disease concerns, based around using VAXXITEK HVT + IBD to establish a strong immune foundation for flock health.
More on our Customized Vaccination Programs

Can immunogenicity following vaccination with VAXXITEK HVT + IBD be measured or assessed in the field?

Current techniques allow monitoring of VAXXITEK HVT + IBD intake in chickens, to demonstrate IBD immunogenicity.18 Diagnostic tools are also available to differentiate between infected chickens and those vaccinated with VAXXITEK HVT + IBD more effectively than was previously possible.19 Our Veterinary Services group has the expertise to assist you and your business with these issues. 
More on Diagnostics & Monitoring

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Referenced Publications

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1. Fernandez R, Rojo F, Garcia H, Sanchez P, Martinez H, Menendez A, Ruiz H et al. Field efficacy in broiler chickens in Latin America of vHVT-013, a Marek’s HVT vector vaccine expressing VP2 in infectious bursal disease virus. Oral presentation and abstract at the 15th congress of the World Veterinary Poultry Association, 2007; p199.

2. Atienza JC, Nagera AJ, Martinez PO, Baysac ND, Castillo MT, Damaso VR, Lemière S. Evaluation of a herpesvirus of turkey vector vaccine inducing protection against infectious bursal and Marek’s diseases (VAXXITEK® HVT+IBD) under Philippines field conditions. Oral presentation. XXIII World Poultry Congress, Brisbane, Australia. 2008. Article wpc0801684, 9 p.

3. Garritty AT. The eff ect of vectored HVT+IBD (Vaxxitek® HVT + IBD) vaccination on body weights, uniformity and virus shedding in commercial broilers. Abstract. International Poultry Scientifi c Forum, Atlanta, 2011; p31.

4. Godinho E, Pereira CJ, Fernandez A, Lemiere S. Case study of broiler chicken carcass condemnation in Brazil – Improved control using a herpesvirus turkey-infectious bursal disease (HVT-IBD) vector vaccine. Oral presentation. XVIIth Congress of the World Veterinary Poultry Association, Cancun, Mexico, 2011.

5. Hoerr FJ. Clinical Aspects of Immunosuppression in Poultry. Avian Dis., 2010; 54:2-15.

6. Naqi S, Thompson G, Bauman B, Mohammed H. The Exacerbating Effect of Infectious Bronchitis Virus Infection on the Infectious Bursal Disease Virus-Induced Suppression of Opsonization by Escherichia coli Antibody in Chickens. Avian Dis., 2001; 45:52-60.

7. Alonso Castro M, Merino Cabria D, Fernandez Garcia D, Torrubia Diaz J, Herreras Viejo R, Fernandez Revuelta J, Mateo Oyague J, Carvajal Uruena A. Evaluation of the effects of vaccination with a HVT-IBD vector vaccine on bursa Fabricii, production parameters and meat properties in broilers. Abstract. XVIIIth Congress of the World Veterinary Poultry Association, Nantes, France, 2013; in-press.

8. Devaud I, Herin JB, Trotel A, Pagot E, Voisin F. A field study in commercial layers to evaluate the effects of an HVT-IBD vector vaccine on production performances in comparison with a live IBD vaccine. Abstract. XVIIIth Congress of the World Veterinary Poultry Association, Nantes, France, 2013; in-press.

9. Lemiere S, Gauthier J.C., Kodjo A., Vinit L., Delvecchio A., Prandini F. Evaluation of the Protection against Infectious Bursal Disease (IBD) Challenge in Progeny Born to Parents Having Received a Vaccination Program Using Herpesvirus of Turkey-Infectious Bursal Disease (HVT-IBD) Vector Vaccine. World J. Vaccines, 2013; 3:46-51.

10. Goutebroze S, Curet M, Jay ML, Roux C, Le Gros F-X. Efficacy of a recombinant vaccine HVT-VP2 against Gumboro disease in the presence of maternal antibodies. British Poultry Science, 2003;44:824-825.

11. Massi P, Tosi G, Fiorentini L. Experimental challenge trial with a «very virulent» strain of Infectious Bursal Disease virus (vvIBDV) in commercial pullets vaccinated with an IBD vectored vaccine or with three different modified live vaccines. Zootecnica International, November 2008;50-57.

12. Bublot M, Pritchard N, Le Gros F-X, Goutebroze S. Use of a vectored vaccine against infectious bursal disease of chickens in the face of high-titred maternally derived antibody. Journal of Comparative Pathology, 2007;137:81-84.

13. Ganapathy K, Wilkins M, Forrester A, Jones RC, Lemiere S. Protection and immune responses against virulent infectious bronchitis viruses in HVT-IBD recombinant or IBD-complex vaccinated broiler chicks. Abstract. 1st International Respiratory Disease Conference, Athens, United States of America, 2011; p15.

14. Lemiere S, Wilkins M, Forrester A, Jones R, Ganapathy K. Protection and immune responses against virulent infectious bronchitis (IB) viruses in herpesvirus turkey-infectious bursal disease (HVT-IBD) vaccinated broiler chicks. Poster presentation. XVIIth Congress of the World Veterinary Poultry Association, Cancun, Mexico, 2011.

15. Rautenschlein S, Lemiere S, Prandini F. Evaluation of the effects of an HVT-IBD vector vaccine on the immune system of layer pullets in comparison with two commercial live IBD vaccines. Abstract. XVIIIth Congress of the World Veterinary Poultry Association, Nantes, France, 2013; in-press.

16. Rosenberger JK, Cloud SS. Identification and characterization of variant infectious bursal disease variant viruses. Journal of American Veterinary Medicine Association, 1986;189:357.

17. Cheville NF. Studies on the pathogenesis of Gumboro disease in the bursa of Fabricius, spleen and thymus of the chicken. American Journal of Pathology, 1967;51:527-551.

18. Le Gros F-X, Dancer A, Giacomini C, Pizzoni L, Bublot M, Graziani M, Prandini F. Field efficacy trial of a novel HVT-IBD vector vaccine for 1 day-old broilers. Vaccine, 2009;27:592-596.

19. Prandini F, Bublot M, Le Gros F-X, Dancer A, Pizzoni L, Lamichhane C. Assessment of the immune response in broilers and pullets using two ELISA lits after in ovo or day-old vaccination with a vectored HVT+IBD vaccine (VAXXITEK HVT+IBD). Zootecnica International, September 2008;40-50.

20. Lemiere S, Wong YS, Saint-Gerand AL, Goutebroze S, le Gros FX. Compatibility of Turkey Herpesvirus–Infectious Bursal Disease Vector Vaccine with Marek’s Disease Rispens Vaccine Injected into Day-Old Pullets. Avian Dis., 2011; 55:113-118.

21. Richard-Mazet A, Goutebroze S, Duboeuf M, Le Gros FX, Lemiere S, Bublot M. Compatibility of fowlpox-avian influenza and herpesvirus of turkey-infectious bursal disease vector vaccines injected in ovo to embryonated chicken eggs. Article. XVIIth Congress of the World Veterinary Poultry Association, Cancun, Mexico, 2011; p852-857.

22. Jay ML, Bizzini S, Duboeuf M, Goutebroze S, Le-Gros FX. Compatibility of a novel vector vaccine HVT-Gumboro with Newcastle and infectious bronchitis vaccination at one day of age. Abstract. 16th congress of the World Veterinary Poultry Association, Marrakesh, Morocco, 2009; p341.

23. Lemiere S, Fernandez R, Pritchard N, Cruz-Coy J, Rojo F, Wong SY, Saint-Gerand AL, Gauthier JC, Perozo F. Concomitant Turkey Herpesvirus–Infectious Bursal Disease Vector Vaccine and Oil-Adjuvanted Inactivated Newcastle Disease Vaccine Administration: Consequences Compatibility of Turkey Herpesvirus–Infectious Bursal Disease. Avian Dis., 2011; 55:642-649.

24. Botero LA, Fernandez R, Rojo F, Orrego JC, Lemiere S. Colombian chicken meat industry performance further to the use of VAXXITEK HVT+IBD vector vaccine. Oral presentation. 16th congress of the World Veterinary Poultry Association, Marrakesh, Morocco, 2009; p169.

25. Körösi L, Povazsan J, Penzes L, Sari I. Field results of VAXXITEK HVT+IBD vaccination in coloured birds in Hungary. Poster. 16th congress of the World Veterinary Poultry Association, Marrakesh, Morocco, 2009; p339.

26. Tang SF, He SJ, Li WM, Lemiere S. Field experience of vaccination in day-old broiler chickens with a herpesvirus turkey-infectious bursal disease (HVT-IBD) vector vaccine in different systems of chicken production across China. Poster presentation. XVIIth Congress of the World Veterinary Poultry Association, Cancun, Mexico, 2011; p920-926.

27. Herrmann A, Negm H, Sultan H. Turkey herpesvirus infectious bursal disease (HVT-IBD) vector vaccine – Field experience in commercial broilers in Egypt. Article. XVIIth Congress of the World Veterinary Poultry Association, Cancun, Mexico, 2011; p556-563.

28. Ochoa R. Monitoring of safety and efficacy of a herpesvirus turkey-infectious bursal disease (HVT-IBD) in a commercial layer operation in Mexico. Article. XVIIth Congress of the World Veterinary Poultry Association, Cancun, Mexico, 2011; p770-774.

29. Korosi L, Povazsan J, Sari I, Penzes L. Comparative field study of the Vaxxitek® HVT-IBD vaccine in commercial layer flocks. Article. XVIIth Congress of the World Veterinary Poultry Association, Cancun, Mexico, 2011; p644-650.

30. Lemiere S, Rojo R, He S, Tang S, Li W, Herrmann A, Prandini F. Benefits of the Herpesvirus of Turkey vector vaccine of Infectious Bursal Disease in control of immune-depression in broilers and decrease of use of antibiotic medication. Abstract. XVIIIth Congress of the World Veterinary Poultry Association, Nantes, France, 2013; in-press.

31. Rautenschlein S, Lemiere S, Simon B, Prandini F. A comparison of the effects on the humoral and cell-mediated immunity between an HVT-IBD vector vaccine and an IBDV immune complex vaccine after in ovo vaccination of commercial broilers. Article. XVIIth Congress of the World Vet.

32. Lemiere S, Bublot M, de Saint-Vis B, Le-Gros FX, Dancer A, Bollart A, Carlotti A. Validation of VAXXITEK HVT+IBD vaccine intake in chickens using vHVT13-specifi c qPCR by processing different tissue samples. Oral presentation. 16th congress of the World Veterinary Poultry Association, Marrakesh, Morocco, 2009; p165.

33. Rautenschlein S, Simon B, Jung A, Pöppel M, Prandini F, Lemiere S. Protective efficacy of VAXXITEK HVT + IBD in commercial layers and broilers against challenge with very virulent infectious bursal disease virus. 16th congress of the World Veterinary Poultry Association, Marrakesh, Morocco, 2009.