Evaluation of an polyvalent footrot vaccine in a field trial.
Objective: The Footvax® vaccine should protect sheep from footrot for a period of about 10 weeks. This is slighly shorter than the duration of the Swiss alpine pasture season. Thus, the vaccine was evaluated for its prophylactic and therapeutic effectiveness for an Alpine pasture trial season. Material and methods: Two flocks of 261 and 338 sheepwere assessed in the spring for the prevalence and severity of footrot, and thereafter divided each into a vaccinated and a control group. At the end of the Alpine season, all sheep were reevaluated and the data were analyzed. Results: In both flocks, vaccinated groups showed an improvement during pasture. One flock had a significant reduction in the number of cases and improvement of case severity only in the vaccinated group. In the second flock, no significant difference between groups was found, because both groups improved while on pasture. Conclusion: Vaccination improves footrot in flocks during the Alpine pasture season. Clinical relevance: Vaccination with Footvax® is effective for footrot control, however, it cannot be used as the sole measure to control the disease during Alpine pasturing.