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Potential Performance Benefits & ROI Of Using VAXXITEK® HVT + IBD

Marek's disease and infectious bursal disease (IBD) are immunosuppressive diseases. When chickens’ immune systems are suppressed, they don't thrive—leading to economic loss in the poultry industry. VAXXITEK HVT + IBD aids in the prevention of these two diseases, helping strengthen birds' overall immune status. Numerous published research studies and rigorous industry field trials have demonstrated potential performance and productivity benefits derived from this strong immune foundation, suggesting that VAXXITEK HVT + IBD can be a valuable, cost-effective investment for many poultry businesses. Here's an overview and highlights from key literature reviewed through 2014. 

Broiler productivity: improvement in growth-related parameters

Performance in broiler birds vaccinated with VAXXITEK HVT + IBD has been studied extensively. Data from published research across several countries show that the reduced disease burden and resulting immune health correlated with improvements across many growth-related parameters, including (but not limited to) the following: 








Lower rate of mortality1, 2, 24, 26







Higher rate of daily weight gain &/or overall mean weight1-3 24, 25-27







Lower feed conversion ratio and/or feed costs per bird2, 24, 26, 27








These productivity improvements—which resulted in overall higher meat yield—demonstrated a strong return on investment with use of VAXXITEK HVT + IBD in broilers in these studies. As one example, the Philippines study2 computed its cost advantage as ranging from $0.13 to $0.27 (USD) per bird across the three farms studied.

Broiler processing: lower condemnation rates, better uniformity

Several studies have demonstrated attributes in broiler flocks vaccinated with VAXXITEK HVT + IBD that are generally associated with improvements at the processing plant.

Carcass condemnation rate is an important factor that affects slaughterhouse profitability:

  • In Colombia, a large-scale follow-up study24 of the poultry industry's 2007-2008 compiled monitoring data (73+ million chickens) showed decreased condemnation rates (as well as lower age of slaughter) in VAXXITEK HVT + IBD flocks
  • A 2011 study in Brazil4 analyzed the country's industry-wide condemnation recording system (18+ million chickens) and found lower overall mean condemnation rates and a calculated economic savings of about $175,000 (USD) with use of VAXXITEK HVT + IBD

Another 2011 broiler study in the U.S.3 investigated meat yields and flock uniformity, factors that generally affect processing plant efficiency. In the study, flocks treated with VAXXITEK HVT + IBD had higher yields across various meat parts, as well as more flock-wide uniformity (as measured by coefficients of variation).

Layers: increased egg production & growth parameters

The use of VAXXITEK HVT + IBD has been studied in layers birds11 in comparative field trials:

  • In Mexico, one of the world's leading egg producers, a 2011 study28 of more than 844,000 layer pullets found that the VAXXITEK HVT + IBD-treated group had 18.5% higher uniformity and 5 eggs more per bird
  • Similar results were seen in 2011 field experiments in Hungary29, where the VAXXITEK HVT + IBD group produced 3.48 and 7.48 more eggs per hen at the two studied layer farms over the trial period

In addition, both studies showed improved growth parameters and lower mortality in layers vaccinated with VAXXITEK HVT + IBD.28, 29

Better overall health may lead to reduced medication costs

Birds protected from IBD and Marek's disease have a stronger immune foundation and are thus less susceptible to secondary infections. Research has evaluated the potential effects of VAXXITEK HVT + IBD on medication costs:

  • The broiler studies referenced above in Colombia,24 China,26 and Egypt27 all showed reduced medication costs per kilogram in birds treated with VAXXITEK HVT + IBD
  • The large-scale follow-up study published in 2013 used compiled monitoring data from the broiler industry and among many parameters investigated, it found a decreased need for antibiotics in VAXXITEK HVT + IBD flocks30

Ongoing evidence of VAXXITEK HVT + IBD's value

To help our customers better understand the use and application of VAXXITEK HVT + IBD, our Veterinary Services group designs trials, publishes data, and reviews and summarizes findings from other investigators.

We invite you to contact us if you have questions about the literature or would like to discuss a possible trial at your business.