USDA has approved Merial’s SWIVAX-MH for the reduction and control of respiratory disease due to Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae. It is formulated for administration via the DERMA-VAC NF Transdermal Vaccination System, also new from Merial.

SWIVAX-MH is prepared from inactivated cultures of Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae combined with an adjuvant; it cannot be used with a conventional needle and syringe. DERMA-VAC NF delivers vaccine through a transdermal needle-free administration when a small amount of pressurized gas is released upon triggering. This forces the vaccine through the nozzle orifice of the DERMA-VAC NF device. An ultra-fine stream of vaccine, moving at high initial pressure and speed, penetrates the skin and is dispersed into the animal tissue. The technology of the DERMA-VAC NF nozzle allows for a precise and targeted administration of the vaccine to antigen-presenting cells, specifically dendritic cells, says Frank Milward, Merial biological research and development.

“This administration will allow for a targeted immune response, reduction of broken needles and increased worker safety,” Milward says. “Also, less product is required for vaccination -- 0.5 mL versus a typical dosage of 1.0 mL to 2.0 mL.” SWIVAX -MH is approved for use on  swine three weeks of age or older. Efficacy has been demonstrated at four weeks and at 23 weeks, after 3-week-old piglets were vaccinated with a single dose.

DERMA-VAC NF includes an apparatus that leaves an ink mark on the animal’s skin at vaccination. “This allows health-care administrators to work more efficiently and effectively, decreasing the chances of missing pigs or vaccinating them more than once,” Milward says.

Merial officials say that the company’s future vaccines will use the needleless technology as the distribution mode.

For more information, contact your Merial representative or call (888) 637-4251, or go to