Merck Animal Health Launches FORTEGRA® Vaccine in Latin America to Protect Poultry Against Coccidiosis

Vaccine Provides Flocks with Earlier and More Complete Protection

MADISON, N.J., August 10, 2015 – Merck Animal Health (known as MSD Animal Health outside the United States and Canada) today announced the launch of the FORTEGRA® vaccine in Latin America to protect broilers against coccidiosis, a parasitic disease of the intestinal tract. FORTEGRA contains the coccidiosis strains found in broiler houses, including precocious and classic strains of E. maxima, and results in faster immunity and a broader protection, compared to conventional vaccines.

FORTEGRA is effective in controlling all relevant strains of coccidiosis in broilers, including E. acervulinaE. mivatiE. maxima and E. tenella. The vaccine simultaneously exposes flocks to two strains of the E. maxima species of coccidiosis, one of them a precocious strain that stimulates earlier, stronger immunity. Earlier immunity allows more time for compensatory growth and can prevent performance losses.

“Vaccination is an important alternative for controlling coccidiosis in broiler flocks, as using in-feed anticoccidials allows the disease to progress at a subclinical level that is difficult to detect but can result in poor growth, uniformity, feed conversion and breast meat yield,” said Dr. Fernando Vargas, Global Technical Director, Merck Animal Health. “Merck Animal Health is pleased to introduce FORTEGRA, which will help producers improve flock performance and minimize economic losses associated with the disease.”

A pen study demonstrated that FORTEGRA protects more birds and at a faster rate, compared to a conventional vaccine and a control group. Fourteen days after vaccination, both demonstrated significant partial protection (78 percent and 69 percent of birds protected, respectively) compared to a control group (12 percent of birds protected).

At 17 days after vaccination, the FORTEGRA® sample demonstrated significantly better protection (92 percent) than the conventional vaccine (59 percent) and the control group (16 percent). At 21 days post-vaccination, FORTEGRA continued to protect more than 90 percent of birds, compared to 78 percent for the conventional vaccine and 3 percent for the control group.

FORTEGA also resulted in lower lesion scores compared to the conventional and control groups at 14, 17 and 21 days post-vaccination. Low-level intestinal lesions caused by subclinical coccidiosis can occur late in the flock cycle and can have adverse effects on weight gain, days to market, feed conversion and meat yield.

About Merck Animal Health
Today’s Merck is a global healthcare leader working to help the world be well. Merck Animal Health, known as MSD Animal Health outside the United States and Canada, is the global animal health business unit of Merck. Through its commitment to the Science of Healthier Animals™, Merck Animal Health offers veterinarians, farmers, pet owners and governments one of the widest range of veterinary pharmaceuticals, vaccines and health management solutions and services. Merck Animal Health is dedicated to preserving and improving the health, well-being and performance of animals. It invests extensively in dynamic and comprehensive R&D resources and a modern, global supply chain. Merck Animal Health is present in more than 50 countries, while its products are available in some 150 markets. For more information, visit or connect with us on LinkedIn and Twitter at @MerckAH.

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