The efficacy of a new vaccine against neonatal Escherichia coli diarrhoea in piglets containing purified F4ab, F4ac, F5 and F6 fimbriae and detoxified heat-labile toxin (LT) was tested in challenge experiments by the method described by the European Pharmacopoeia (3rd edn, EDQM, Council of Europe, Strasbourg, France). A group of 11 young sows from a herd without E. coli problems was vaccinated 6-8 and 2-4 weeks prior to expected farrowing and another group of nine young sows were non-vaccinated controls. Escherichia coli antibody titres were determined in serum samples taken from the sows before first vaccination and before farrowing and in colostrum samples. The newborn piglets were allowed to suckle colostrum from their mother immediately after birth. The piglets were marked with individually numbered ear tags. Approximately 12 h after birth, 118 piglets from vaccinated sows and 79 piglets from non-vaccinated control sows were challenged by oral instillation of 5 ml of a freshly prepared culture of one of the challenge strains [O8:K87:F4ab (LT+) or O149:K91:F4ac (LT+) or O9:K30:F5 or O9:K103:F6 respectively]. The challenge cultures contained as a mean 6.8x10(9) CFU/ml. After challenge the piglets were observed for 7 days and mortality and morbidity were recorded. Vaccinated sows developed significant levels of antibody titres in colostrum and serum. Control sows stayed at a low/seronegative level. The protective efficacy was excellent because 66.7-87.5% of the piglets from vaccinated sows remained without clinical signs after challenge. Only 0.0-28.0% of the piglets from non-vaccinated sows remained healthy and more than 47.1% of the piglets in this group died after challenge. It is concluded that the new vaccine is very effective in protection of piglets against neonatal E. coli diarrhoea.
Journal of Veterinary Medicine Series B 09/2005; 52(6):296-300. DOI:10.1111/j.1439-0450.2005.00857.x · 1.57 Impact Factor