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VIDO Research Demonstrates Effectiveness of Needle Free Immunization
Dr. Phil Willson-Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization

Farmscape for October 8, 2003 (Episode 1359)

A just completed pilot study shows needle free vaccination of piglets to be as effective as vaccination using needles and with fewer complications. The study was conducted by the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization at the University of Saskatchewan. Vaccine delivery using the Agro-jet, a device which uses a medium pressure blast of carbon dioxide gas to administer vaccine, was compared to delivery using a standard 20 gauge one inch hypodermic needle.
Program Manager for Vaccine Development Dr. Phil Willson says two groups of piglets were vaccinated at six and nine weeks of age.

Clip-Dr. Phil Willson-Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization. We had eight pigs that we immunized with each of these techniques, either with a traditional needle or with the needle free Agro-jet, and these were given a booster vaccination three weeks after the primary just as the vaccine label indicates is the appropriate way to use it. We then challenged them by exposure to virulent Actinobacillus bacteria. What we compared was whether or not these pigs had an equivalent amount of immunity as measured by their serum as well as whether they were protected from a disease exposure. It turns out they were quite equivalent in terms of their response. The blood response was quite similar. Piglets that were vaccinated using the needle free technique, using the Agro-jet, turned out to have slightly less disease after challenge.

Dr. Willson says, so far, scientists have learned you can get good effective immunity using this needle free approach. However, he says, while the needle free technique produced equivalent immunity, it became obvious that not as much vaccine went into the pig so future research will investigate the possibility of achieving effective immunity with smaller doses. For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.

*Farmscape is a presentation of Sask Pork and Manitoba Pork Council