Experiences with a vaccine being developed for the control of swine dysentery

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)18-20
Journal / PublicationAustralian Veterinary Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1993
Externally publishedYes


A prototype vaccine that is being developed for the control of swine dysentery (SD) was tested in two groups of experimental pigs. Vaccination induced high circulating antibody titres against the aetiological agent, Serpulina (Treponema) hyodysenteriae.

Pigs in the first trial were vaccinated twice before being challenged orally with the bacteria. Five of 6 unvaccinated animals developed dysentery within a fortnight of challenge, but only 1 of 6 vaccinated pigs showed signs of disease at this time. Unexpectedly, 1 mo after challenge, the surviving unvaccinated pig and 2 remaining healthy vaccinated animals succumbed to the disease. The reason for the development of this late-onset form of dysentery was not clear.

In the second trial, 8 pigs were vaccinated 3 times. Only 2 of these animals (25%) developed severe dysentery after being mixed with infected pigs, whereas 7 of 8 (88%) unvaccinated control pigs in the same pen became diseased. The late-onset form of dysentery was not observed.

The prototype vaccine for SD provided a useful level of protection, and could be used in programs to control the disease in Australia.