9 November 2001

UKs first cattle marker vaccine

ACHIEVING infectious bovine rhinotracheitis-free status while simultaneously protecting cattle against the disease is now possible following launch of the UKs first cattle marker vaccine.

Called Bayovac IBR, the vaccine will make it possible to differentiate animals infected with IBR from those that have been vaccinated, according to Andrew Curwen of manufacturer Bayer Animal Health.

"IBR is endemic throughout UK herds and often a high percentage of animals have been exposed to it. To eradicate the disease all positive animals would have to be culled, but with high numbers this is not financially viable. The marker vaccine offers an alternative."

British Cattle Vet Association president Dick Sibley welcomes the new vaccine. "It will not interfere with trading of cattle where blood testing to confirm absence of IBR antibodies is currently required."

Using the marker vaccine in uninfected cattle produces an antibody profile lacking in what are known as gE antibodies, says Mr Curwen.

When animals are vaccinated with conventional IBR vaccines or infected with the virus, they produce gE antibodies, which can be identified using a test allowing differentiation. &#42