Swine veterinarians have a new vaccine to help to battle diarrhea associated with Clostridium perfringens Type-A. Novartis Animal Health US, has developed Clostridium Perfringens Type-A Toxoid, which is available under a USDA conditional license for use in swine.

Clostridium perfringens Type-A naturally resides in the swine intestine, but it's a leading cause of diarrhea in neonatal pigs.

“Control of C. perfringens Type-A is becoming increasingly important to offset the poor performance of pigs affected by diarrhea,” says Duncan Rowe, director of the Novartis swine business unit. “Diarrhea in the first couple days of life can cause lower weaning weights, which directly affects survival in the nursery and grow/finish phase.”

Environmental factors, including a drafty room or a change in the season, may trigger Clostridium perfringens Type-A infections. Pre-farrowing and neonatal management are critical to keep infection at bay. Tips for pre-farrowing preparation include:

  • Pressure wash, clean and disinfect farrowing room prior to bringing in new sows
  • Set temperature and ventilation systems for young pigs' needs
  • During the farrowing period, be sure to remove all sow manure in crate

Once piglets are on the ground, there are additional steps to take.

Day-one care:

  • Check for chilled piglets
  • Ensure that all piglets receive adequate colostrum
  • Consider split suckling if needed

Development of a Clostridium perfringens Type-A vaccine has been challenging because of the unpredictable nature of the bacteria, notes Rowe.

Clostridium Perfringens Type-A Toxoid includes a proprietary dual-component adjuvant formulation; it is safe for use in healthy swine, including bred gilts or sows and feeder pigs.

The product is only for use in swine. More information about Clostridium Perfringens Type-A Toxoid is available at www.livestock.novartis.com 

Source: Novartis Animal Health