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Since the early 1980s, the poultry industry has leveraged biotechnologies to improve the safety and convenience of avian vaccination. Vector technology refers to the use of another organism—the "vector"—to transmit a vaccine's active component to the animal. The vector is typically a harmless virus or bacterium, modified to carry only a piece of the target disease pathogen, which then stimulates the protective immune response in the animal without ever exposing it to the entire pathogen.
Why Vector Technology?
Vector vaccines have a high safety profile because the whole disease pathogen is not included, so there is little risk of adverse reactions and no reversion to virulence. Vector technology also enables the creation of multivalent vaccines: most vector products protect against at least two diseases, thus reducing vaccination efforts and bird handling. In the future we're likely to see combination vaccines against multiple diseases or strains.
In some diseases where inherited maternal antibodies in chicks interfere with classical vaccines, vector technologies have been used to overcome this challenge. This feature, combined with strong safety, often makes vector vaccines particularly suitable for hatchery vaccination.
Merial's Innovation Leadership
Merial has long been a leader in vaccine vector technology, introducing some of the industry's earliest and most successful products.** Our state-of-the-art biological production network ensures that new technologies deliver the same exceptional quality and performance that our customers have come to expect from our classical vaccines. With R&D efforts focused on both well-established vectors and entirely new vector candidates, we anticipate vector vaccines playing an increasingly important role in the future of the poultry industry.
The Future Is Now: VAXXITEK® HVT + IBD**
Launched in 2006 and now available worldwide,*** Merial's VAXXITEK HVT + IBD is one of the poultry industry's leading vector vaccines. It uses the non-pathogenic herpesvirus of turkeys (HVT), which is closely related to Marek's disease, as a vector carrying a protective antigen of the infectious bursal disease (IBD, or Gumboro disease) virus, to aid in the prevention of these two important immunosuppressive diseases in chickens.
Thanks to vector technology, VAXXITEK HVT + IBD can be administered in the hatchery with just a single injection on a pre-defined schedule. This convenience has helped make the vaccine a top industry choice, used in billions of birds worldwide since its launch.
|Learn more at our VAXXITEK HVT + IBD website|
Fowlpox Vector Vaccines**
The fowlpox virus was the first vector used in the poultry industry, and Merial introduced one of the earliest products with our TROVAC NDV vaccine against Newcastle disease launched in 1995. The TROVAC range also includes a fowlpox vector vaccine containing the H5 avian influenza insert, for use in approved countries.**
Your Partner in Vaccination Planning & Administration
Choosing the best combination of vaccines—both vector as well as classical formats—for a particular poultry business is a little bit art and a lot of science, especially with regards to vaccine compatibilities. Our Veterinary Services team brings years of expertise in making vaccine decisions that optimize both health and performance. Let us help you develop a customized vaccination program that allows your flock and your business to reach their full potential.
And when it comes to executing that program, Merial Vaccination Technologies & Services (VTS) is there for you at every step to help ensure successful vaccine transport, storage, handling, and administration.
**Many of Merial’s avian vaccines are only marketed and available in certain countries, sometimes under different trade names. Speak to your Merial representative or contact us to find out what’s available in your region.
***A vaccine product sold under the VAXXITEK® HVT + IBD trade name is available in more than 75 countries worldwide.
Scientific Literature & Other Materials
Want to dig deeper? Browse published research on a range of poultry diseases and products, plus our equipment brochures, website articles, and more.
Product background info, vaccination equipment demos, and customer testimonials—explore all these and others from our video collection.