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Infectious laryngotracheitis (ILT), Newcastle disease (ND) and Marek’s disease (MD) can significantly impair performance and, if left uncontrolled, wipe out entire flocks.
Traditional vaccines made with killed or attenuated live viruses are available to aid in the prevention of the highly contagious ILT and ND. Trouble is, they often need to be administered at different times to ensure lifelong protection, and worse yet, some vaccines can cause costly reactions that hurt flock performance and profitability.
To address this issue, scientists at Merck Animal Health developed the INNOVAX line of recombinant vaccines, which can be conveniently administered to chickens in one dose at the hatchery — either in ovo to 18-day chicken embryos or by subcutaneous injection at 1 day of age. The vaccines help prevent their target diseases with no costly reactions.
The foundation of the INNOVAX vaccine line is the herpesvirus of turkey (HVT), known to be safe for chickens. HVT not only helps prevent MD, it also acts as a carrier for the ND or ILT antigens that stimulate immunity. This contrasts with traditional vaccines, which introduce attenuated live ND and ILT viruses to help stimulate immunity.