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Pfizer Recognises Vaccine Link To BNP

09 May 2011

EU - Pfizer Animal Health has acknowledged evidence of a ‘strong association’ between the use of its PregSure BVD vaccine and the later development of ‘Bleeding Calf Syndrome’.

The company voluntarily suspended sales of PregSure BVD in Germany in April 2010 and then in other member states in June 2010.

It said this action was initiated as a precautionary measure in light of reports that the vaccine may have an association with Bovine Neonatal Pancytopaenia (BNP), the disease also known as ‘Bleeding Calf Syndrome’ that was first recognised in the UK in 2009.

The product’s European Marketing Authorisation was suspended by the European Commission later in 2010.

In a statement Pfizer Ruminants business unit director Paul FitzPatrick said that although PregSure BVD is no longer available in Europe, it is continuing to investigate the ‘adverse events’. He said laboratory-based investigations are also ongoing to try to understand the pathogenesis of BNP.

“At the moment, the most prevalent hypothesis under discussion is an immunopathological reaction due to alloreactive antibodies (antibodies to “self”) which are transferred to the calves via colostrum. Research has reported that these antibodies may be being stimulated by cell components present in the vaccine as a normal consequence of vaccine production.”

Pfizer has issued guidance to farmers on the management of calves.


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