See the benefits of cross-protection against swine influenza

Micah L. Jansen, DVM
Pork Technical Services, Zoetis
Vaccination can help protect pigs from respiratory challenges and costly economic losses due to influenza.

Can you see swine influenza in your operation right away? Often, we can’t answer this question just by looking because clinical signs aren’t always visible, even when disease is present.

It is easy to see how quickly this hidden challenge can get out of control. Vaccination can help protect pigs from respiratory challenges and costly economic losses due to influenza.

More specifically, vaccination with FluSure XP® or FluSure XP combination vaccines offers broad cross-protection against the most relevant strains of influenza in swine to help you be more in control. Here’s how:

Protect against more strains

A vaccine that helps protect against one strain does not always cross-protect against other strains. Swine influenza A virus (IAV-S) has evolved into more than one subtype and cluster that continues to menace veterinarians and producers trying to help prevent respiratory disease.

Swine influenza is complicated, so I recommend this video and article to help provide clarity about the changing genetic and antigenic characteristics of IAV-S field strains and exactly what you need to consider cross-protecting against.

Most relevant strains

Because of the rapid pace of IAV-S genetic changes and transmission, vaccines used for disease prevention need to be updated regularly to maintain efficacy against the most important IAV-S subtypes and clusters currently circulating in swine.

According to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) surveillance, H1N1 Gamma, H1N2 Delta-1 and H3N2 Cluster IV-A are the most prevalent strains of IAV-S that can impact U.S. farms today.

The FluSure XP vaccine family was updated in late 2016 to meet the changing antigenic picture to help protect against these most prevalent IAV-S strains. Additionally, Zoetis has ongoing surveillance monitoring in place to help us ensure we are helping provide the right protection for your pigs now and in the future.

Demonstrated protection

The influenza virus can spread rapidly through herds — even herds with pre-existing immunity. A vaccine that has been demonstrated to be up to this challenge can help give you peace of mind.

FluSure XP has demonstrated protection against the most prevalent swine influenza strains — Delta-1 H1N2, Gamma H1N1 and H3N2 Cluster IV-A2,4,5 —  as well as cross-protection against H3N2 Cluster IV-B, H1N1 alpha and H1N1 beta.5-8 In one study, when pigs vaccinated with FluSure XP were challenged with a virulent H3N2 Cluster IV-A strain, protection was demonstrated by reduction of lung lesions, rectal temperature, nasal shedding and viral titer in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid at necropsy.

Protection when needed

We typically think of flu season being in the fall and winter months, but swine influenza can strike at any time. No matter when influenza threatens, you need a vaccine that’s available right when you need it.

In the time it can take to create an autogenous vaccine, disease could already be spreading. Plus, autogenous vaccines often lack demonstrated efficacy against all the most relevant strains.

This information provides only a small look at some of the advantages and results you’ll see from a vaccine that offers cross-protection against different swine influenza strains. 

For additional guidance on managing swine influenza, I encourage you to work with your veterinarian.

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