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Intrauterine Vaccination Offers Safer Less Stressful Alternative to Needles

A Postdoctoral fellow with the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization suggests intrauterine vaccination of sows and gilts offers a safer alternative to needles for swine barn workers that's less stressful for the pigs. Researchers with the Western College of Veterinary Medicine and the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization are exploring intrauterine vaccination as an alternative to needles.

Dr. Pooja Choudhary, a postdoctoral fellow with VIDO, notes since 2014 there has been a push by the swine industry to transition to group housing for gilts and sows, which makes it challenging to handle the animals for routine practices such as vaccination.

Clip- Dr. Pooja Choudhary-Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization:

Our team is exploring an alternate route for vaccination that could work well within current animal husbandry practices and at the same it can improve barn personal safety and avoid accidents such as needle pricks.When we look at the pig industry, the majority of pigs are bred by artificial insemination, meaning that the uterus is easily accessible during each reproductive cycle.

Our idea is to add the vaccine into semen bags and deliver it to the uterus where it can generate an immune response.That immune response can travel to other parts of the body as well.In addition to that, during breeding female pigs undergo a response wherein they become temporarily immobilized making them safe to inseminate and vaccinate both at the same time.

So, by this IU or intrauterine vaccination approach, we can offer an easier and more effective method and at the same we can capitalise on an already accepted practice of industry.

Dr. Choudhary says preliminary results have shown this approach to be safe and it offers economic benefits because the person-power needed to vaccinate is reduced by coupling vaccination with insemination.

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