New Web site helps producers prevent the No. 1 cause of calf deaths

Roseland, NJ, (October 27, 2009) — Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health announces the launch of its new Guardian® vaccine Web site, www.guardianvaccine.com, which provides the latest information to help producers and veterinarians prevent and manage neonatal diarrhea, commonly known as scours, in their cattle herds.

“Neonatal diarrhea is the No. 1 killer of beef and dairy calves less than 60 days old, costing producers an estimated $100 million in annual losses each year,” says Kevin Hill, Technical Services veterinarian for Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health1. “The economic impact is even greater when one considers the effect this disease complex has on infected calves that survive, causing increased treatment costs, increased labor and care for sick calves, decreased performance, and the potential for a lifetime of production losses.”

Beef and dairy producers, as well as veterinarians, can direct their Web browsers to www.guardianvaccine.com for comprehensive information on the cause of calf scours, how best to manage the problem, and the economic benefits of vaccinating cows and heifers with Guardian prior to calving. Visitors to the Web site can utilize the online calculator to determine the cost savings that can be achieved by vaccinating with Guardian each year. The interactive tool, which includes beef and dairy adaptations, allows users to apply specific herd information to determine the return on investment Guardian vaccine can provide.

Visitors to the Web site also can submit questions to animal-health specialists about calf-scours management. In addition, they can watch video clips from recent RFD-TV LIVE episodes and learn about preventing and managing neonatal diarrhea.

“Managing the scours disease complex requires an understanding of how it spreads and how to encourage immune development in the animals,” says Dr. Hill. “The Web site provides producers and veterinarians with important information they can use to make critical calf-health decisions.”

Most complete scours protection

According to veterinary experts, successful calf-scours prevention relies on two key strategies: minimizing calf exposure to disease-causing pathogens; and, maximizing the calf’s immune response by improving the dam’s antibody production in colostrum.

A comprehensive scours vaccine like Guardian administered to the cow or heifer 12 weeks prior to calving followed by a booster 3 weeks to 6 weeks later, enables these females to transfer scours protection to their calves via their antibody-rich colostrum. After the first year of vaccination, cows need only a single shot of Guardian as an annual booster. Vaccinating cows and heifers with Guardian can result in peace of mind, reduced labor during calving season, and a healthier calf crop.

Guardian offers the broadest coverage available in a scours vaccine, protecting against more relevant causes of neonatal diarrhea than any other vaccine. It is labeled as an aid in the prevention of neonatal calf diarrhea caused by enterotoxigenic E. coli pilus type K99, bovine Group A Serotype G6 rotaviruses, enterotoxemia caused by Clostridium perfringens types C and D, and as an aid in the control of neonatal calf diarrhea caused by two different types of bovine coronaviruses.

In August 2009, Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health announced it had received U.S. Department of Agriculture approval of an important label extension for the Guardian scours-prevention vaccine. The new label approval affirms Guardian provides E. coli protection to the newborn calf following vaccination of pregnant heifers or cows up to six months prior to calving.

“E. coli is one of the most lethal bacterial agents causing calf scours,” says Dr. Hill. “The new Guardian six-month E. coli label claim means producers can vaccinate with a high level of confidence knowing that vaccination of pregnant cattle with Guardian as early as six months prior to calving will provide E. coli protection to the newborn calf, reducing the need for inconvenient vaccination and handling during late-term pregnancy.”

Safe immune response

Guardian utilizes a unique manufacturing process that produces a more precise and targeted immune response with low reactivity. Protection against E. coli scours requires a vaccine that contains a specific antigenic component of E. coli bacteria. However, older vaccines that contain whole-cell E. coli bacteria can be highly reactive in the animal and more likely to cause injection-site lumps and bumps, abortion, or even death. Vaccines like Guardian that contain sub-unit K99 pilus antigen provide a high degree of safety.

“The new Guardian production process harvests only the K99 pili and eliminates most of the unwanted cell wall material, thus providing a clean, more concentrated level of the vital K99 antigen,” Dr. Hill explains. “The result is a strong and extremely targeted E. coli immune response. In addition, Guardian contains a unique water-in-oil adjuvant that allows for excellent duration of immunity.”

Producers are encouraged to work with their veterinarians to design a calf-scours management program appropriate for their herds.

Guardian is available through veterinarians or animal-health suppliers. For more information about Guardian, or to learn more about Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health’s full line of innovative, high-quality cattle health products, visit www.guardianvaccine.com or www.intervetusa.com.

About Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health

Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health is a leader in research and dedicated to the development, production and marketing of innovative, high-quality animal-health products for all major farm and companion animal species. For more information about Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health visit: www.intervet.com and www.intervetusa.com.

Schering-Plough is an innovation-driven, science-centered global health care company. Through its own biopharmaceutical research and collaborations with partners, Schering-Plough creates therapies that help save and improve lives around the world. The company applies its research-and-development platform to human prescription and consumer products as well as to animal health products. Schering-Plough’s vision is to “Earn Trust, Every Day” with the doctors, patients, customers and other stakeholders served by its colleagues around the world. The company is based in Kenilworth, New Jersey, USA, and its website is www.schering-plough.com.”

Guardian is property of Intervet International B.V. or affiliated companies or licensors and is protected by copyrights, trademark and other intellectual property laws.

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