MSD Animal Health has launched Bovilis Nasalgen-C, the first vaccine against bovine coronavirus (BCoV), a virus which affects both the respiratory and gastrointestinal tracts.
Head of the virology division at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine Dr Ronan O’Neill, who spoke at the launch event, highlighted that bovine respiratory disease (BRD) is endemic in all forms of cattle production and has a negative impact in terms of lower growth rates, lower final weights and affects milk production, and is also a significant cost to the farmer in terms of treatment fees.
“Compared to the other common BRD viruses, BCoV has a tendency to circulate around the herd for a long time, is much less predictable and, therefore, harder to risk manage.
"It is quite prevalent in Irish herds, featuring strongly in calves, and is much less prominent in older animals,” O'Neill said.
Out of the positive sample submissions to laboratories between 2012 and 2022, 20% had more than one virus detected, with BRSV and BCoV the most common pairing at 21.6%, followed by BRSV and PI3 at 19.7%.
Speaking at the launch, MSD Animal Health general manager Fergal Morris said: “We know that BCoV is prevalent on Irish farms and that it opens the door for other BRD pathogens, such as mycoplasma bovis and mannheimia haelmolytica, which can have a long-term impact on the health and productivity of the herd.”
Morris said the new vaccine can be administered on the day of birth and should be a welcome addition to farmers’ vaccine regime at a time when they are having to reduce antibiotic use as a result of the growing issue of antimicrobial resistance.
Bovilis Nasalgen-C is an intranasal live vaccine, with the onset of immunity starts five days after administration, with a 12-week duration.