Mastitis Course Unveils Case Studies27 February 2013
GLOBAL - Case studies of the first pan-European 'biofilm' mastitis vaccine have been presented to the International Mastitis Course at Nottingham University, writes Michael Priestley, TheCattleSite Editor.
Designed for use on whole herds, Startvac is for both healthy cows and heifers and animals with recurring mastitis problems.
Through intramuscular injection the vaccine offers alternatives to popular antibiotic products which depend on cephalosporin and flouraquinalone chemistry.
Released by Hipra, the product is a polyvalent vaccine that works on dry-cows on two levels. Firstly, the 'J5' component targets E.Coli and Coliforms and the 'Biofilm' component is aimed at the 'slime' produced by Staphylococcus aureus.
Comprehensive field trials have shown that Start-vac can lead to:
1. Reduction in clinical cases
2. Reduction in recurrent cases
3. Reduction in severity
4. Down scaling of treatment protocols.
However, Rennie Gresham, veterinary advisor at Hipra, has cautioned that the vaccine requires diligent use for effective results and is to form part of broader mastitis control schemes, such as DairyCo's five-part plan.
"What we have is a tool in a solution, it is important to know which pathogens you are dealing with on each farm and to combat mastitis with a holistic, comprehensive plan," said Mr Gresham.
Cleaner environments and bedding; better milking and appropriate culling programmes should all accompany vaccination to improve udder health, Mr Gresham added.
The programme requires boosters to follow the initial injection. Each gestation should ideally be met with the treatment.
Dry-off is when the first injection is recommended- at 45 days before calving date. The second injection is scheduled for the transition shed around 35 days thereafter.
The third and final injection comes 62 days after the second injection, equivalent to 52 days after calving which can be done at the post-calving check.