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Phone: 0800 800 543. www.msd-animal-health.co.nz

CAMPYVAX4®

Vaccinating with Campyvax improves lambing performance and prevention of Campylobacter abortions. In fact, field studies show that flocks that are vaccinated against Campylobacter have lambing percentages on average 9% higher than flocks that are not. A sensitiser and booster vaccination of Campyvax4 to all replacement breeding ewes is recommended, followed by an annual booster every year. The sensitiser and booster vaccinations should be given to fit normal farming practice; ideally they should both be given prior to mating, or the sensitiser before and the booster after mating. For farms buying in ewes of unknown vaccination history, or those farms beginning a vaccination programme, a full 2-shot plan is recommended.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT CAMPYLOBACTER

Campylobacter is responsible for large scale abortions, with losses of up to 30% reported. Such large scale abortion storms are extremely devastating.

Evidence suggests subclinical infections also play a role in reduced lamb survival. Numerous studies have shown an association between vaccination and increased lambing percentage. Even when no abortions have been seen, vaccination has been observed to increase lambing percentage by an average of 9%.

RISK FACTORS FOR CAMPYLOBACTER

  • Is present on 88% of New Zealand farms.
  • Maiden Ewes –hoggets or two tooths are most at risk but mixed age ewes who have not been previously exposed (up to 50%) are still at risk too.
  • Is the most common infectious agent causing abortion on New Zealand farms, with 60% of sheep abortions diagnosed attributed to Campylobacter.
  • Occurs when susceptible animals ingest contaminated feed or water, or by direct contact with infected fetuses or fetal membranes.  Scavenging birds such as the Black Backed Gull may become vectors and spread the disease between paddocks and even farms.
  • After infection, the organism is present in discharges for up to six weeks, with some ewes becoming longer-term carriers.
  • Infection can persist on a farm for a number of years in carrier sheep without overt signs of disease.
  • Signs are not just aborted lambs, there may be reduced scanning and lambing percentages too.