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Bovipast RSP – The number one pneumonia vaccine
Bovipast RSP is the number one pneumonia vaccine used in cattle in Northern Ireland. It protects against two viral causes of pneumonia: RSV and PI3 viruses; and the bacterium Mannheimia haemolytica.
Bovipast RSP is the only cattle vaccine licensed to protect against Mannheimia (Pasteurella) haemolytica serotypes A1 and A6. Protection against both strains is vitally important and is unique to Bovipast RSP.
Calves can be vaccinated from two weeks of age. The vaccination program is two shots four weeks apart. A booster dose should be given before the next period of risk. Bovipast can also be administered at the same time as Bovilis IBR Marker Live.
Vaccinating cattle before they get pneumonia can be a very effective way of controlling disease. The vaccine stimulates the animal’s immune system to produce antibodies. These antibodies help the animal to fight infection when they encounter it.
The objective of the Beef Environmental Efficiency Programme for Sucklers (BEEP-S) is to further increase economic and environmental efficiency in the suckler herd though improvement in the quantity and quality of performance data that is collected. The deadline for applicants is Monday 26th April 2021. Register here on the DAFM webpage. See figure 1 below for an overview of the 2021 programme.
One of the voluntary measures under Action 2 of the BEEP-S scheme is vaccination. The objective of this action is for farmers to implement a vaccination programme to reduce the incidence of bovine respiratory disease (BRD) caused by certain viruses and bacteria otherwise known as pathogens. Bovine Respiratory Disease or BRD as it is also known, refers to diseases that affect the respiratory system of cattle. The best-known example of BRD in cattle is pneumonia. We would encourage farmers to opt for vaccination as part of option 2 of the scheme and to talk to your vet about vaccination protocols suitable for your weanlings at weaning.
Purpose of Action 2 – vaccination
If you select vaccination as part of Action 2 of the programme you will need to familiarise yourself with the disease pathogens you are trying to protect your cattle against, the vaccines suitable for the programme and their protocols. Let’s start with the disease pathogens. The vaccination pillar of the programme aims at reducing the disease incidence caused by BRD which is illustrated in figure 2:
For the purpose of this programme, Teagasc are advocating the importance of vaccinating calves against all four pathogens listed in figure 2 where possible. If inspected, you must provide receipts to show proof of purchase and a record of vaccine administration dates in order to satisfy Action 2 of the programme.
Applicants must choose one of the following vaccination protocols to qualify for payment:
Option 1. (if there is adequate time before risk period or a broader coverage including bacteria is required)
First subcutaneous injection of RSV, PI3 and Mannhaemia haemolytica dead vaccine, six to eight weeks before weaning/housing/sale
Second subcutaneous injection of RSV, PI3 and Mannhaemia haemolytica dead vaccine, two to four weeks before weaning/housing/sale
At the same time as the second injection, a single IBR live intra-muscular, two to four weeks before weaning/housing/sale
Option 2. (if there is a short time before risk period or if cattle can only be handled once)
Single RSV and Pi3 Intranasal two to four weeks before weaning/housing/sale
At the same time, a single (or two dose programme) IBR live intra-muscular injection (two to four weeks before weaning/housing/sale)
Which vaccines can farmers use to qualify for the scheme?
MSD Animal Health has the full portfolio of BRD vaccines to provide protection against the four pathogens listed in figure 2. Figure 3 below displays the disease pathogen each product provides protection against and the specific vaccination protocol.
MSD Animal Health are advising all farmers to implement a vaccination protocol using Bovipast RSP and Bovilis IBR Marker Live. Benefits of this programme:
Combination of these vaccines will provide protection against all four pathogens
The two vaccines are licenced to be administered on the same day
Bovipast RSP provides the BROADEST cover against Mannhaemia haemolytica that’s available on the market
Bovilis IBR Marker Live provides the FASTEST onset of immunity compared to competitor product
Provides protection against RSV, PI3 and the BROADEST protection against Mannhaemia ((Pasteurella) haemolytica
Inactivated or dead vaccine
Two shot primary course given four weeks apart. One shot is 5ml
The second shot must be given no later that two weeks prior to weaning, sale or housing
1st shot six weeks prior to risk
2nd shot two weeks prior to risk
Subcutaneous injection (under the skin)
Bovilis IBR Marker Live
Provides the FASTEST onset of immunity against IBR
Single 2ml shot given at least two weeks prior to weaning, sale or housing
Intranasal (up the nose) or intramuscular (into the muscle) injection
Both intranasal and intramuscular administration will give 6 months protection when given to stock over 3 months old.
Bovilis INtranasal RSP Live
Provides the FASTEST onset of immunity against RSV and Pi3
Single 2ml shot given at least one week prior to weaning, sale or housing
Provides 12 weeks protection against RSV & PI3
Why is vaccination part of this programme?
A correctly timed vaccination programme in conjunction with correct animal management can have both an economic and labour-saving result for the farmer.
Vaccination programmes can:
Improve the welfare of the animals. Vaccines can reduce the risk of an animal becoming infected by certain disease pathogens
Reduce the risk of animals becoming ill which reduces the need for antibiotic treatment
Protect animals during risk periods. Examples are weaning, housing, mixing of groups, transport, mart trade etc.
Reduce sick days for animals while also maintaining thrive, allowing animals to reach key target weights
Studies show beef cattle with obvious signs of pneumonia can take over 59 days longer to finish than healthy animals. Even animals showing little or no sickness can be suffering from subclinical respiratory disease which will increase finishing times to slaughter. See figure 4 below:
MSD Animal Health are advising all farmers to consult with their attending veterinary practitioner prior to implementing a vaccination protocol.
If inspected, you must provide receipts to show proof of purchase and a record of vaccine administration dates in order to satisfy Action 2 of the programme.
References Bareille et al. 2008. Impact technique et économique des troubles respiratoires des jeunes bovins lors de l’engraissement. Rencontres autour des recherches sur les ruminants: 77-80.
“Vaccinating against pneumonia is cheap reassurance and ensures long-term protection for a cow” says Bandon dairy farmer, Owen O’Brien
Owen runs a 74 cow-dairy herd alongside his wife, Rosaleen, his three children, Daniel, Amy and Ciaran, and parents who remain very active on the family farm.
Like so many farms across the country, the O’Brien’s have made significant strides over the last number of years to overcome calf pneumonia outbreaks on farm. Calf pneumonia is the most common cause of death in cattle of all ages over one month old. For calves that do survive death, an outbreak of calf pneumonia can lead to significant costs in terms of reduced growth rates, lower milk yields, increased feed requirements and veterinary attention.
The cost of pneumonia
Pneumonia is a multifactorial disease meaning any factors can influence the onset of an outbreak. Two important viral causes of pneumonia are RSV and PI3 viruses while one of the most common bacterial infections can be caused by Mannheimia haemolytica. The severity of pneumonia can vary from reduced appetites, mild nasal discharge and coughing in a group of calves, to severe pneumonia causing death.
According to Department of Agriculture Quarterly Surveillance Report 2020, in the first three months of 2020, Mannheimia haemolytica was the most common pathogen identified on post-mortems of cattle examined by the regional veterinary labs.
“Pneumonia will kill or, at the very least, significantly compromise lung function and impact on heifer growth rates,” says Kevin O’ Sullivan from Glasslyn Vets. Preventing the problem from arising in the first place is key and management is reliant on a good understanding of the causes and risk factors.
What makes calves susceptible to the disease?
Calf pneumonia is a complicated, multi-factorial disease. Healthy animals can carry Mannheimia haemolytica and Pasteurella multocida as commensals without developing clinical signs. Infectious agents, environment, and the calf’s immunity status are all factors that can determine the onset of an infection.
A calf receiving poor-quality or inadequate levels of colostrum is one of the biggest factors affecting immunity, making them more susceptible to infection. Several stress factors such as poorly ventilated and overcrowded housing, grouping, changes in weather and transportation can also increase the risk of pneumonia. Once the calf is stressed, the ability of their immune system to fight infection is significantly reduced.
Prevention is better than cure
Disease prevention is key to avoiding the onset of pneumonia on farm. “My motto is prevention is better than cure on farm. Good quality colostrum, good hygiene practices, good housing management and an effective vaccination programme must go hand in hand to reduce the risk of pneumonia. The results are clear as I find my cows are heathier, fitter animals and don’t get any setbacks”, says Owen.
Alongside building immunity, reducing stress and minimising exposure to infection, Kevin states that one of the best routes for preventing a costly pneumonia outbreak is vaccination along with good calf management. It stimulates the immune system to produce antibodies, which protects the animal against infectious pressures once they are challenged by those pathogens.
“By vaccinating against pneumonia, you are reducing the risk of outbreak, helping the animal thrive and reach their weight targets at weaning, housing and pre-breeding. This will ensure they are in optimal condition when meeting the bull in ~20 months’ time” states Kevin.
Why choose Bovipast RSP?
Owen uses Bovipast RSP in his calves from two weeks of age and gives the booster shot four weeks later. Bovipast RSP contains IRP technology which inhibits Mannheimia haemolytica from replicating which reduces the infection from developing. It provides the broadest protection against bacterial pneumonia caused by Mannheimia haemolytica and protects the animal against two of main viruses, RSV and PI3. As pneumonia can result from bacterial or viral infection, it is important to choose a vaccine that provides a broad range of cover against some of the most common infectious pathogens challenging calves.
For full protection, calves should be vaccinated with a 5 ml injection under the skin, from two weeks of age and given their booster dose four weeks later. The correct use and timing of vaccination are vital to their success and always read the manufacturers recommendations.
When vaccinating, it is recommended to vaccinate all animals in the group to minimise the infectious potential. As the disease status on every farm is different, vaccination protocols will vary. Speak to your local vet about the right strategy for your farm.
Compatible with Bovilis IBR Marker Live
Bovipast RSP can also be administered at the same time as Bovilis IBR Marker Live from three weeks of age. Vaccination with Bovilis IBR Marker Live may be required where IBR has been detected on a farm or where the risk of introduction of the disease is high i.e. purchasing stock or animals returning from shows or sales.
For more information, talk to your veterinary practitioner