German vet outlines tips on Gumboro disease

Poultry producers in northern Germany have successfully reduced the incidence of Gumboro disease by vaccinating birds earlier and taking blood samples to check the level of protection.

This was the key message at a recent producer meeting in Shropshire organised by the Slate Hall Veterinary Practice in conjunction with Lohmann Animal Health.

Poultry vet Herman Block outlined how he and his colleagues are tackling the problem in northern Germany. His poultry practice at Uelsen, near the Dutch border, looks after 80m broilers and broiler breeders.

Infectious bursal disease (IBD) also known as Gumboro, he explained, is the number one problem in poultry and can cause significant economic losses, so he encourages producers to vaccinate as a routine.

“If they don’t vaccinate then they can cause problems for their neighbours,” he told the meeting. “By taking blood samples to measure antibody titres and vaccinating earlier we have fewer problems than anywhere else in Germany,” he added.

Dr Block carried out field studies involving three commercial intermediate-plus vaccines to investigate their efficacy on three separate broiler farms.

While all of the vaccines prevented infection, he found that AviPro IBD Xtreme induced an earlier and higher response, because it was able to break through the high maternal antibodies when used earlier.

“Depending on maternal immunity, we are able to use the vaccine one and two days earlier – at 7-16 days – which provides good protection without any loss of performance,” he commented. It was particularly useful for providing control and protection in disease “hot-spots” and this vaccine is now used on 60% of the birds in his practice.