ParaSail is the pork industry’s first avirulent live, single-dose vaccine for Haemophilus parasuis, and it is brought to you by Newport Laboratories.

Available exclusively through veterinarians, ParaSail has been proven to protect against three of the most predominant strains of Haemophilus parasuis currently circulating: serotype 4, found in 25 percent of cases; serotype 5, found in 15 percent of all cases; and serotype 13. Multiple side-by-side comparisons have shown a single dose of the vaccine to be as effective as a two-dose regime. USDA has approved ParaSail for use as a single-dose product, with a 1-ml dose given intramuscularly.

As Randy Simonson, DVM, Newport’s chief operating officer, explains, ParaSail is backed by more than five years of research and development. A leading global expert in Haemophilus parasuis, Simone Oliveira, led the early research and development team, and continued as a consultant in more recent years.

Simonson notes that scientific literature as well as practical experience has demonstrated that animals that have gone through an infection and survived, no matter the virus strain, appear to be immune to infection with heterologous strains. With this in mind, Oliveira and her team eventually discovered an attenuated strain that was safe in pigs and provided broad-spectrum immunity; that strain was the foundation for ParaSail.

The vaccine has been proven safe for use in pigs 21 days or older. In numerous challenge studies, pigs vaccinated with ParaSail showed decreased incidence of fevers and disease lesions, and minimal mortality compared with placebo-vaccinated control pigs.

ParaSail’s patent-pending formulation enables it to replicate a non-disease-causing copy of Haemophilus parasuis in vaccinated animals, thus stimulating an immune response that is second only to actual infection.

Newport has produced PinPoint Evidence-based Haemophilus parasuis biologicals for a number of years. “However, as with the killed commercial products, these biologics tend to work when the strains in the vaccine are similar to those in the field,” Simonson notes. “With ParaSail, we have demonstrated cross-protection against heterologous challenge as well.”

The most recent report from USDA National Animal Health Monitoring System revealed that the incidence of Haemophilus parasuis is on the rise, with a 230 percent increase in nursery pigs and a 340 percent increase in cases in grow/finish pigs from 2000 to 2006.