The control of strangles in the UK receives a boost this month (March) with the reintroduction to the UK of Equilis StrepE, the only licensed strangles vaccine in Europe.

The control of strangles in the UK receives a boost this month (March) with the reintroduction to the UK of Equilis StrepE, the only licensed strangles vaccine in Europe.

Equilis StrepE. POM-V.First launched in 2004 by Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health, the vaccine is administered through injection in the upper lip of the horse and provides immunity for three months following two initial injections, four weeks apart.

According to the company, the vaccine reduces the clinical signs of strangles and the occurrence of lymph node abscesses in horses that are at risk of infection.

Equilis StrepE contains a live modified strain of Streptoccus equi.

Improvements to the vaccine since it was first launched include better manufacturing processes, ensuring the product maintains its characteristics throughout its shelf-life, and a more user-friendly applicator, which the needle slots, rather than threads into, making it easier for vets to administer.

Vicki Farr veterinary advisor at Intervet said: “We withdrew the vaccine in 2006 following receipt of data suggesting the product might not have met the stated shelf life requirements, although there were no implications for safety or efficacy. This has now been resolved; we have put another 3 years of research and development behind the product and are confident that it will fulfil a much needed role as part of a strangles management programme.”

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