IAV-S in pigs: shifting the approach to protection

Once considered a seasonal, “simple” virus, influenza A virus in swine (IAV-S) has become an endemic dilemma with detrimental effect on performance and profitability.1,2 Ongoing IAV-S infection is not confined to the nursery; it impacts all phases of a swine operation,2 making it clear that traditional management strategies are no longer as effective or dependable as they once were.

Any time there are more than 10 solutions to a problem, probably none of them are very good. And to me, that says a lot about influenza strategy, and what we’ve done over time and where we are today.

—Mike Eisenmenger, DVM, Swine Vet Center, PA, St. Peter, MN

Traditional IAV-S management strategies, focused on sow vaccination, may be useful when implemented only to protect sow herds from the reproductive repercussions of a new IAV-S introduction.3–5 But prefarrowing sow vaccination to protect piglets against IAV-S in the nursery depends on the transfer of maternal antibodies (mAb) in colostrum from the vaccinated sow,3–5 which has several limitations. These limitations—the need for homology between mAb and challenge viruses, a lack of uniform antibody concentrations delivered to piglets, mAb interference, and the decline of mAb concentrations as pigs grow—have led to continued frustration as IAV-S remains an ongoing health issue in the swine population.3–5 When piglets are unable to develop their own immunity, they remain vulnerable and unprotected against IAV-S.6

Individual pigs need individual protection—from start to finish
In IAV-S-endemic sow herds, newborn pigs can become infected with IAV-S through exposure to continuously circulating virus in the farrowing house. Although they may be mildly affected or subclinical at that time, once weaned, pigs infected with IAV-S are at risk for increased morbidity and mortality7,8 and transmit IAV-S to more pigs when they are commingled in a larger population.9,10

Additionally, an increased burden of respiratory pathogens leads to increased numbers of clinically affected pigs. Respiratory disease in pigs causes lost productivity by compromising growth and performance. This reduced performance has a direct economic impact on producers.11,12

Adequate IAV-S control strategies must get ahead of these IAV-S challenges. Early vaccination, before exposure, allows a pig to mount a strong natural immunity.

If we have an available vaccine that is cross-protective and can be used in young pigs, I’d say it has the opportunity to be widely used and over time then decrease the prevalence of influenza that’s circulating in our sow populations and our suckling pig populations.

—Joseph F. Connor, DVM, MS, President and Founder, Carthage Veterinary Service, Carthage, IL

Ingelvac Provenza™ for swine protection
Ingelvac Provenza™ is an intranasally administered, bivalent live attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV) that offers broad protection against IAV-S. Ingelvac Provenza™ has been shown to be effective for the vaccination of healthy pigs 1 day of age or older, demonstrating cross-protection against relevant circulating IAV-S strains and a reduction in viral shedding.

Additionally, intranasal administration stimulates mucosal immunity where it is needed most—at the natural site of infection.3,4 One study evaluating LAIV protection in the face of mAb showed a significant decrease in the detection and duration of shedding viable virus.13

Reducing the amount of influenza virus shed by infected pigs reduces IAV-S transmission among and between animals at a given site. This reduced transmission decreases the impact of influenza in a swine operation and can help producers achieve unrealized pig health and performance.

Shifting the approach to piglet protection through direct piglet vaccination provides more complete and uniform immunity against IAV-S, compared with maternally derived immunity, with the added benefit of administration as early as day 1. An LAIV works to protect pigs throughout all growing phases.

With Ingelvac Provenza™, you can now protect pigs before they leave the sow farm.

For more information on how Ingelvac Provenza™ offers a new approach in the management of IAV-S for swine protection as early as day 1, visit www.IngelvacProvenza.com.

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