Kansas State University (KSU) researchers conducted three studies to evaluate vaccination strategies on pig performance involving the use of porcine circovirus type 2 (PCV2) vaccines.

Conclusions of those three efforts were that:

  • Vaccination with PCV2 and Mycoplasmal pneumonia vaccines has a negative effect on nursery pig performance. But the researchers said the effects are product-dependent. Compared with non-vaccinated control pigs, pigs vaccinated with Circumvent PCV (Intervet/Schering-Plough) and/or RespiSure (Pfizer Animal Health) had poorer average daily gain and feed efficiency, with the most impact following the second injection (Table 1). Nursery performance of pigs vaccinated with CircoFLEX (Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc.) was similar to that of the control pigs.

  • Overall growth performance, carcass characteristics and mortality rate of pigs vaccinated with either Circumvent PCV and Myco Silencer ONCE (Intervet/Schering-Plough) or CircoFLEX and MycoFLEX (Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc.) was similar. However, the patterns of growth rate varied between vaccine strategies. Pigs vaccinated with Circumvent PCV and Myco Silencer ONCE grew slower in the nursery phase but faster in the finisher phase.

  • Although research trials corroborate that vaccination with PCV2 vaccines improves growth performance of pigs, in one study it did not increase the lysine requirement for grow-finish barrows and gilts.

In evaluating the impact of PCV2 vaccines on pork production systems, the KSU research team observed that:

  • Negative impacts of vaccination on nursery pig performance must be considered when selecting vaccine products and developing vaccination protocols.

“These negative effects may be mitigated by using different vaccine products; however, the efficacy of the vaccine should be considered as well in product selection,” it was stated in the research report.

In all, PCV2 vaccination continues to improve grow-finish pig performance.

Previous KSU research has shown that vaccination for PCV2 results in a return of $3-8/pig.

Labor, supply and product cost savings may be achievable by using different manufacturer-recommended programs, given the fact that there was no difference in overall performance or carcass characteristics between a one-dose and a two-dose PCV2 and Mycoplasmal pneumonia vaccination program in one commercial farm studied.

Researcher: Megan Potter, Nick Shelton and Jon Bergstrom, all of Kansas State University. Contact Potter by phone (785) 532-4845, fax (785) 532-4288 or e-mail mpotter@vet.ksu.edu.