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Development of a commercial vaccine for Haemonchus contortus, the Barber’s Pole Worm
Barbervax, a vaccine for Barber's Pole worm, was registered for use in Australian lambs in October 2014. The main object of the present project was to evaluate the efficacy and safety of the vaccine for ewes, with a view to extending registration across the whole flock. Three field trials conducted in the Northern Tablelands of NSW showed that Barbervax could curb Haemonchus egg counts in ewes both before and after weaning, especially if they had been vaccinated in a previous season. Reducing egg output during lactation is important because this is the main source of infection for the next generation of sheep, while lower egg counts post weaning will reduce anaemia and deaths in ewes during late summer and autumn, the peak season for Barber's Pole worm disease. A large scale safety trial with some 600 ewes was favourable in that it confirmed that any adverse effects of using Barbervax were mild and transient. A secondary objective was to determine whether Barbervax could be useful for producers in the Northern Slopes of NSW. Graziers in this region would be reluctant to adopt the 5 vaccination schedule recommended for Barbervax in the Northern Tablelands because the effort and expense of mustering on their more extensively grazed properties would be prohibitive. The trial was encouraging, because a strong antibody response was detected post weaning, but unfortunately inconclusive, because drought prevented any significant challenge. This information together with earlier results from trials with yearling sheep has been compiled and submitted to the APVMA in order that authority for using Barbervax across entire flocks can be obtained.
This page was last updated on 24/07/2017
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