DENMARK, Copenhagen. In close collaboration with the University of Copenhagen, the SEGES Pig Research Centre is working on the development of a vaccine to replace zinc oxide as a treatment for piglet diarrhoea and at the same time reduce antibiotic consumption.
The SEGES Pig Research Centre and the University of Copenhagen are currently working full steam ahead on the development of a vaccine against piglet diarrhoea. The project, which has been ongoing since 2019, fell behind schedule in the spring of 2020 due to Covid-19, but still recorded progress as part of the research to develop a Covid-19 vaccine also produced usable results for the piglet diarrhoea vaccine.
If the project is successful, the new vaccine can reduce antibiotic use in piglet production as well as completely replace zinc oxide in piglet feed. "Our vaccine has enormous potential - not only for Danish pig production, but also for international pig production. It is a very central project that can significantly influence the use of antibiotics," explains Poul Bækbo, Chief Advisor Nutrition & Health at SEGES Pig Research Centre.
Preliminary vaccination trials at the Research Centre will start at the end of May. Initially, 60 animals will be vaccinated. Poul Bækbo: "First of all, it is about the immunological reaction of the animals - the question of whether their immune system forms antibodies against E. coli, Lawsonia and Brachyspira, i.e. the bacteria against which we want to strengthen the immune defence."