An Associate Professor with the University of Saskatchewan’s College of Pharmacy and Nutrition says administration of vaccines to sows and gilts during artificial insemination offers their piglets earlier disease protection. Researchers with the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization and the College of Pharmacy and Nutrition at the University of Saskatchewan are evaluating the effectiveness of administering vaccines to sows and gilts along with sperm during artificial insemination to protect them and their offspring from diseases, focusing initially on Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea. Dr. Azita Haddadi, an Associate Professor with the Division of Pharmacy in the College of Pharmacy & Nutrition, says this approach offers a host of advantages.
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First of all, it’s needle-free so that is one advantage. Then, in the pig industry, the majority of the commercial pigs are bred by artificial insemination so this vaccine is administered at the same time so you don’t need extra steps or extra procedures.
The other advantage is, because it’s in the uterus, it could cause some immunity in the mucus of the uterus that will better protect the fetus and, when the piglets are born, they’re already immunized. The first six weeks after the birth is the most challenging time for the piglets because their immune system is not fully developed yet and they have a higher chance of getting infected.
With this method when they’re born, they already have the immunization.