Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health has announced that it is to re-introduce Equilis StrepE, the only strangles vaccine for horses in Europe. The vaccine was voluntarily withdrawn from the market in 2007 for stability reasons.

Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health has announced that it is to re-introduce Equilis StrepE, the only strangles vaccine for horses in Europe. The vaccine was voluntarily withdrawn from the market in 2007 for stability reasons.

The first re-introduction of the vaccine took place in the Netherlands in May, whereas additional re-introductions are scheduled for Italy (September) and the United Kingdom (October). Further re-launches in European countries are scheduled later in 2010 and beyond.

Equilis StrepEThree years of additional research and development have resulted in several improvements to the vaccine, including a better manufacturing process to ensure that the product maintains its characteristics throughout its shelf-life. Moreover, a more user-friendly applicator has been developed, which enables the needle to slot into place and thereby making it easier to administer the vaccine.

Equilis StrepE is administered through a submucosal injection in the upper lip of the horse and provides immunity for three months following two initial injections, four weeks apart. The vaccine significantly reduces clinical signs of strangles and occurrence of lymph node abscesses in horses that are at risk of infection.

Peter Daels, veterinarian at the Keros Insemination and Embryo Transfer Center in Beselare (Belgium) said: “In our recipient embryo transfer herd, we have used this strangles vaccine on over 500 mares. After a few applications, the vaccine was easy to administer and did not cause any serious side effects. Despite a steady flow of new horses, only eight cases of strangles were noted – all were mild and most were newly acquired horses that had apparently been exposed shortly before vaccination. I believe that the vaccine provides solid protection against the disease, reduced the severity of clinical cases and eliminated the risk of a widespread outbreak in our herd.”

Roberto Ragni-Alunni, global technical manager equine at Intervet/Schering Plough Animal Health, said: “The re-launch of Equilis StrepE in Europe is an important milestone in our efforts to fully meet the needs of our customers in the equine industry. We continue to work in a very intense and comprehensive way to ensure adequate supply of our equine vaccine range.”

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