Fostera PRRS is a new, modified-live vaccine option for porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS), respiratory form of the disease, offered by Pfizer Animal Health. Doug King, senior veterinarian, swine veterinary operations, Pfizer Animal Health, told the new product panel that Fostera PRRS is licensed for the vaccination of healthy pigs three weeks of age or older in PRRS virus-positive herds or in PRRS-seronegative pigs that are deemed to be at risk for exposure to PRRS virus.

The product was created from a U.S. field strain of the PRRS virus, using a unique cell line. “The real innovation is that we identified a receptor that when present on the surface membrane of cells makes those cells permissive to growth of PRRS virus in order to propagate virus for vaccine production,” King said.

 Pfizer Animal Health conducted a challenge study to evaluate the vaccine’s efficacy against a virulent, heterologous PRRS virus challenge. The study indicated lung lesions were reduced by 84%, overall respiratory clinical signs were reduced by 80% and average daily gain was improved by 2.5 times when compared to controls post-challenge, according to King. “Fostera PRRS is the first and only PRRS virus vaccine to earn the label claim ‘aid in preventing respiratory disease associated with PRRS virus,’” King said.

Because Fostera PRRS is a modified-live virus vaccine, there are some things that must be considered. King noted that there is a precaution on the product label concerning the potential shedding of vaccine virus to other populations of swine in direct or indirect contact with vaccinated swine.

The panel asked about the risk that would be involved. King said producers should follow their veterinarian’s recommendations regarding use of PRRS vaccine on their farms, along with utilizing the best biosecurity processes possible.

Leon Sheets asked if specific precautions should be taken when administering this vaccine. King explained that once reconstituted, vaccine should be administered as soon as possible, and when cleaning syringes, special care should be taken to avoid any contact with disinfectants that might inactivate (kill) the vaccine virus.

Marcia Shannon asked if the vaccine needed to be administered more than once. King indicated that, as per the label, a one-time administration of a 2 ml dose is sufficient.

Fostera PRRS is available in 50-dose and 250-dose units. King said the vaccine has a list price of $1.29/dose.

Paul Yeske, DVM, thought the research data looked good for this product. “The nice thing about this product is the receptor science,” he said. “This looks like another tool that can be used in the fight against PRRS.”

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