To help tackle the issue of Post Weaning Diarrhoea (PWD) caused by E. coli in piglets, Elanco is offering farmers free diagnostic testing to identify the bacterial strain and allow for appropriate vaccination.
Professor Frédéric Vangroenweghe, Elanco’s principal technical advisor, said that farmers should access the testing service through their vet practice, who can then prescribe and advise on the appropriate vaccination if necessary.
Professor Vangroenweghe said: “With the European zinc oxide ban approaching, the most viable option for PWD control is vaccination. But, for this to be effective and lead to increased productivity, a positive diagnosis of the cause should be obtained.
“All you need to do is request a test from your vet at the first onset of PWD, which typically occurs in the first three weeks after weaning. If you have a positive test for the F4 or F18 strain of E. coli, it’s likely this will remain or increase in future batches of piglets.”
To effectively prevent against the disease while promoting gut health, Professor Vangroenweghe recommends administering the Coliprotec vaccine through drinking water.
“This vaccination has been shown to help reduce reliance on antibiotics and should alleviate the requirement of zinc oxide in feed,” he said.