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Too Complicated!

Arief Fuchrudin
I recently received a text message from a poultry farmer who said that he was confused about which vaccine should be administered to his poultry flock to protect the birds from the H5N1 Avian Influenza virus. “Homolog or heterolog? No real differences because outbreaks still happen in my poultry flock,” he wrote in his SMS.

I can understand his problem, but what could I recommend to him, except to maintain excellent biosecurity at his farm. Don’t ask about recombinant vaccine, because it’s still a controversy, and don’t ask about stamping out, because who will pay the farmer for it?! Yeah, too complicated.

I then went to meet with a professor from the faculty of veterinary medicine in Indonesia in order to get more insight as to what i could advise the farmer. “The AI virus still exists, even more virulent because of its rapid mutation. We have atleast 3 local strains of the AI virus, which are Legok, Konawe and Sukabumi. The vaccine, however, is made made from the Legok strain only. That’s not a surprise when you find outbreaks of AI virus,” said the professor.

The professor went on to say that the solution would be found in a cocktail vaccine, simply becasue a single strain vaccine is not able to protect the birds from the field virus. “In 2 years, the mutation of the AI virus is so siginificant. If we look at the philogeny tree of AI virus, one strain to another strain is far now in distance. So, how can a single strain vaccine protect the birds if field virus attacking is made of more than one strain and is more virulent? We need a cocktail vaccine that has atleast 2 or 3 local strains inside the vaccine to give maximum protection,” he said. He also informed that this solution is based on his challange trials. The vaccine tested are homolog (single), heterolog, and cocktail (polivalen) vaccine. The result, he says, is that the cocktail vaccine protects up to 90% of the total birds challenged.

So, i could possibly recommend a cocktail vaccine ot the farmer. Unfortunately, though, he still has to wait an unpredictable amount of time. The reason for this is that the government has not yet issued a permit to use a cocktail vaccine, although some animal vaccine companies are able to produce it. The reason for this is uncler, but the necessity for it is pressing.

Again, too complicated!

3 comments

  • no-profile-image

    waseem alshible

    Thank you Dr.
    you know that the poultry is cornerstone of the protein feed source for human especially in Asia and the AI and other respiratory diseases is agreat threat on the poultryindustry in Middle East the greatest threaten to chicken is IB and at yet no obviuos vaccination programm for the protection so as you written too complicated.
    D.V.M waseem Alshible
    waseemshible@hotmail.com
    Best Regards

  • no-profile-image

    edy purwoko

    Today, farmer using homolog and cocktail vaccines, but outbreak still happened. What's next??

  • no-profile-image

    Baso Darmawan

    Three local (Indonesian) AI vaccine manufacturers have already produced vaccines that are made using masterseed containing viruses recommended by OFFLU, with another one awaiting approval.
    And according to FAO's research, these vaccines are effective enough to reduce the case, alas, Indonesian farmers still think that foreign produced vaccines are better, without understanding that compatibility does matter. So now we can see so many vaccines using so many strains circulating in Indonesia. Thank God those are inactivated vaccines, otherwise Indonesia will become the "AI virus bank of the world". The ignorance of the Indonesian veterinary pharmaceutical companies, sometimes based on their lack of knowledge in this matter, is amazing..

    Vaccine selection should be based on scientific methods not on trial by error methods..

    Vaccine compatibility to the circulating virus, amount of virus particles per dose and the proper administration of vaccine are three important factors in getting a good vaccination result.

    The circulating H5N1 AI virus in Indonesia are closely related, that each strain inside a sub-clade may have some cross protection to the other, therefore using cocktail vaccine will not help significantly. Just remember the 3 factors above: compatibility, particle amount and good administration.

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