Vaccine Withdrawn To Aid Bleeding Calf Syndrome Research

EU - Pfizer Animal Health has voluntarily stopped sales of PregSure BVD, a vaccine against Bovine Virus Diarrhea, in all EU countries with immediate effect to allow the company and other stakeholders to continue a comprehensive investigation of the possible causes of Bovine Neonatal Pancytopaenia (BNP) syndrome (bleeding calf syndrome) and any possible links to the use of PregSure BVD.
calendar icon 9 June 2010
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The action follows the stopping of sales in Germany in April, which aimed to understand whether this action had any affect on the incidence of BNP.

Pfizer is actively conducting a robust investigation of BNP in conjunction with veterinary research institutions. A Pfizer-funded epidemiological survey is being undertaken aimed at identifying the common risk factors between the reported cases of BNP. Other research activities across the EU are exploring how colostrum intake could trigger the disease. The possibility of an emerging disease is also being investigated. Pfizer will report results of these studies to the regulatory authorities.

This move has been welcomed by the Scottish Agricultural College. While no direct link has been made between the use of Pregsure BVD and BNP, the cause of this disease is still unknown.

Together with colleagues in the Veterinary Laboratories agency (VLA), the Dick Vet in Edinburgh, the Moredun Research Institute and overseas, SAC is working to gain a better understanding of BNP. Preparations are being made by the partners for a case-control study, based on knowledge gained through the post mortems of suspect BNP cases previously offered free of charge to farmers and their vets and which, for the moment, are continuing.

Affected calves are aged less than 28 days old. They can have a persistent fever with bleeding from the nose, gums, ear-tag holes and injection sites. There may even be intestinal bleeding with calves passing dark, tarry dung. Most calves were growing well before showing clinical signs, with no history of prior problems. However it should be stressed that some calves can die without any noticeable signs of bleeding.

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