New Poultry Data from Merck Animal Health to be Highlighted at WVPAC 2023

INNOVAX®-ILT-IBD, the first vaccine to prevent ILT, IBD, and MD in a single dose, now available in the EU, will be highlighted in a symposium

Multiple studies continue to support the benefit of INNOVAX®-ND-IBD, the first vaccine against classic and variant IBD, ND and MD in a single dose

RAHWAY, N.J., August 29, 2023 – Merck Animal Health, a division of Merck & Co., Inc., Rahway, N.J., USA (NYSE:MRK), today announced the presentation of 11 abstracts at the 22nd World Veterinary Poultry Association Congress (WVPAC 2023), highlighting new research across the company’s broad poultry portfolio. The company will also showcase its latest innovation INNOVAX®-ILT-IBD, a dual-construct HVT vaccine that provides long-term protection against infectious laryngotracheitis (ILT), infectious bursal disease (IBD) and Marek’s disease (MD), recently approved by the European Commission and now launching in the EU at a symposium and at Booth #24. WVPAC 2023 will be held in Verona, Italy from September 4 to 8, 2023.

“Merck Animal Health is leading the development of innovative, science-driven ways to safeguard poultry well-being, making it easier for our customers to protect their flocks so they can ensure the production of high-quality, affordable animal protein,” said Fernando Vargas, global poultry technical director at Merck Animal Health. “With INNOVAX-ILT-IBD and INNOVAX-ND-IBD, we are proud to offer a broad range of protection against the most common, highly infectious diseases in poultry, as well as provide the convenience of a single injection.”

Symposium: INNOVAX, The Launch

The company will discuss INNOVAX-ILT-IBD, the first and only vaccine available in the EU to provide combined protection against ILT, IBD and MD development in a single injection. Building on Merck Animal Health’s legacy of protection offered by INNOVAX-ILT, INNOVAX-ILT-IBD features two ILT glycoprotein inserts instead of one. Clinical trial data show that INNOVAX-ILT-IBD has an early onset and a long duration of immunity. Business leaders from Merck Animal Health will lead discussions on preventative medicine, sustainability in the poultry industry, and animal welfare. The symposium also features leaders from the poultry industry including Dr. Guillermo Zavala, founder and owner of Avian Health International, LLC, Dr. Dan Wilson, and Wilson Vet Co. who will discuss topics such as innovation, science and sustainability and the changing role of vets in the poultry industry.

The symposium will take place on Monday, September 4, from 8h00 to 13h00 at the Crowne Plaza Verona Fiera – Winter Garden Room.

Key data to be presented at WVPAC 2023:

Novel research evaluating vaccination programs for Infectious Bursal Disease and Newcastle Disease

  • Abstract 2300350: Protection of different IBD vaccination programs in commercial broilers under field conditions

    A field study of 40,000 day-old chickens compared two different vaccination programs under commercial conditions, measured by evaluation of bursa/body weight ratio and bursal histopathological lesion score. In this study, INNOVAX-ND-IBD protected chickens after being challenged with IBD virus – as early as 14 days of age – and provided better protection compared to the conventional live IBD vaccine via drinking water.
  • Abstract 2300354: Protective efficacy of recombinant HVT-ND-IBD and immune complex IBD vaccines against IBDV challenge in broiler chickens

    Another study of day-old chickens compared the protective efficacy of INNOVAX-ND-IBD and an immune-complex IBD vaccine against challenge with IBD virus. In this study, INNOVAX-ND-IBD induced the highest protection against IBDV challenge based on bursa/body weight ratio and bursal histopathological lesion score.
  • Abstract 2300356: In-field comparison of Infectious Bursal Disease (IBD) vaccination program in commercial broilers in South Africa

    This in-field comparison evaluated the performance of INNOVAX-ND-IBD on two commercial broiler farms with a history of confirmed or suspected IBD issues with their current IBD vaccination program in South Africa. On both farms, the chickens vaccinated with INNOVAX-ND-IBD outperformed the immune complex IBD vaccine or live IBD vaccine groups over three cycles, measured by evaluation of live weight at processing, feed conversion ratio, and performance efficiency factor.
  • Abstract 2300062: Evaluation of protection against T1-like variant Infectious Bursal Disease viruses using dual recombinant HVT-ND-IBD vaccine alone and in combination with live intermediate strain and 89/03 strain of IBDV vaccine

    This study evaluated the effectiveness of INNOVAX-ND-IBD against an infectious bursal disease virus variant (T1-IBD variant) with or without live IBD vaccines. The variant affects broilers between the ages of 20 to 30 days, with moderate to severe bursal atrophy. In the study, INNOVAX-ND-IBD provided significant protection at 26 days of age against the variant, with or without live IBD vaccines.
  • Abstract 2300144: Field experiences with next-generation sequencing and hemagglutination inhibition assays for monitoring vaccine take in broiler flocks vaccinated in ovo with an HVT-ND-IBD double construct vaccine

    This study evaluated tools to monitor the effectiveness of INNOVAX-ND-IBD vaccination in ovo, a method of administration that consists of delivering vaccine inside the egg around 18 days of incubation. Broilers vaccinated in ovo do not have to be revaccinated with traditional live vaccines against NDV and IBDV. In the study, next generation sequencing (NGS) and hemagglutination inhibition (HI) assays were found to be a suitable combination to monitor in ovo vaccination.
  • Abstract 2300201: Determining the influence of the vector vaccine against Infectious Bursal Disease on Bursa of Fabricius and antibody response

    This study evaluated monitoring methods for detecting serological responses of chickens vaccinated with INNOVAX-ND-IBD, among a total of 1,050,480 day-old broiler chicks.

Additional novel research evaluates vaccine administration methods and considerations

  • Abstract 2300446: Colonization, invasion and shedding of salmonella infantis after challenge in 74-week-old field layers vaccinated with salmonella enteritidis live anda trivalent inactivated aluminium adjuvanted salmonella-vaccine

    This study evaluated a common protocol to prevent colonization, invasion, and shedding Salmonella Infantis (SI) as a Salmonella-model serovar in layers in later stages of egg production. The analysis confirmed that the number of positive birds per group and total colony-forming unit of SI for all sample types over all tested days were significantly lower in the vaccine compared to the control group.
  • Abstract 2300282: US broiler performance comparison between different coccidiosis control programs

    This study examined aggregate de-identified U.S. field data from 6.5 billion heads of broilers from 1404 processing plants from a one-year period to understand the real field performance of broilers under different coccidiosis control programs. The study’s protocols included a chemical only program, a Ionophore only program (including the nasasin and nicabazin combination products) and naked vaccine program with COCCIVAC®-B52. The study found that birds treated with the ionophore-only or the vaccine-only programs had lower total live production cost and lower weekly total mortality compared the chemical only program.
  • Abstract 2300202: Determination of vaccination success of broilers vaccinated by different methods in hatchery against Infectious Bronchitis and Newcastle Disease by molecular and serological methods

    This study of more than 148,000 chickens evaluated vaccination against infectious bronchitis and Newcastle disease via automated eye drop equipment (INNOJECT® Pro) and a conventional spray cabinet. In the study, vaccination with the eye drop method was more effective than the spray cabinet as measured by antibody level and positivity rate.
  • Abstract 2300307: Efficiency of VAC-Safe® as dechlorinating agent to preserve avian respiratory vaccines from chlorine inactivation when used with a dosing pump

    As chlorine present in tap water can inactivate veterinary vaccines, one of the most important variables in drinking water administration of live vaccines is water quality. This study evaluated the dechlorinating agent VAC-Safe®, with preliminary results suggesting that the dechlorinating agent is suitable for IBV and NDV vaccine administration in tap water with a dosing pump.
  • Abstract 2300352: Safety and serological response of different routes of administration of the novel B-variant serovar containing tetravalent infectious coryza vaccines in commercial layer chickens in Thailand

    This study evaluated two routes of administration of a novel tetravalent vaccine against Infectious Coryza (IC), a widespread disease affecting chickens. There were no significant differences between subcutaneous or intramuscular administration, as measured by post-vaccination reaction and serological response, suggesting that novel tetravalent IC vaccines are safe to be injected either subcutaneously or intramuscularly.

About Merck Animal Health

At Merck, known as MSD outside of the United States and Canada, we are unified around our purpose: We use the power of leading-edge science to save and improve lives around the world. For more than a century, we’ve been at the forefront of research, bringing forward medicines, vaccines and innovative health solutions for the world’s most challenging diseases. Merck Animal Health, a division of Merck & Co., Inc., Rahway, N.J., USA, is the global animal health business of Merck. Through its commitment to The Science of Healthier Animals®, Merck Animal Health offers veterinarians, farmers, producers, pet owners and governments one of the widest ranges of veterinary pharmaceuticals, vaccines and health management solutions and services as well as an extensive suite of connected technology that includes identification, traceability and monitoring products. Merck Animal Health is dedicated to preserving and improving the health, well-being and performance of animals and the people who care for them. 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 and connect with us on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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