ITALY - Conference gathers experts and industry leaders from Europe, Middle East,
North America, Latin America and Asia to share updates on avian immunosuppressive
diseases and novel vector vaccine technology. More than 250 veterinarians and poultry
production specialists from 36 countries in Europe, the Middle East, North and South
America and Africa participated in the Merial Avian Forum in Italy’s capital city
earlier this month.
“Merial strongly believes in bringing new information and educational programmes
to the avian industry, while providing a forum for sharing veterinary field experience
across the globe to improve poultry health and production,” said Jérôme Baudon,
Head of Global Strategic Marketing Avian.
One of Merial’s firm commitments in the avian field is to form relationships with
its customers. Over the course of the three–day Forum, participants heard presentations
on the latest science relating to poultry immunity from a dozen world–recognised
experts in their respective fields. Subjects ranged from the basics of the avian
immune system, the devastating effects of Infectious Bursal Disease (IBD) and Marek’s
Disease (MD) on chickens, and control of the disease, as well as an overview of
the history of vaccine development and a preview of future developments.
“The control of IBD and MD remains one of the key challenges in the reduction of
immune suppression,” said Dr Thomas Zwercher, Merial’s Marketing Director for Europe,
the Middle East and Africa. “But better control methods are being developed, both
in classical vaccines and using new technology, including the first vector vaccine,
VAXXITEK HVT+IBD, developed by Merial and now licensed for use in more than 65 countries,”
“One protection is not enough,” he stressed, referring to the main theme of the
Forum. “The immune system represents a key asset to build a solid protection against
a series of infectious agents and to preserve optimal health status; VAXXITEK HVT+IBD
is setting the gold standard as the vaccine against IBD and is as efficient against
MD as any other HVT vaccine.”
Dr Francesco Prandini (Technical Manager for Merial EMEA) and Professor Silke Rautenschlein
(Hanover University) presented new data validating that VAXXITEK HVT+IBD is the
only existing vaccine which brings proven protection to the immune system of broilers
and layers, fulfilling the final objective where birds fully express their genetic
potential and achieve the best performance and return on investment for producers.
This has been confirmed in the field, according to reports in a Round Table session,
in which customers from China, Brazil, Egypt, Spain, the United Kingdom and France
enthusiastically highlighted the economic benefits of using VAXXITEK HVT+IBD vaccine
in broilers and layers. Since its first launch in 2006 in Brazil, it is estimated
that over 19 billion chickens have been vaccinated worldwide with VAXXITEK HVT+IBD.
For many participants, a highlight of the Merial Avian Forum was the opportunity
to visit some of the magnificent sights of the ‘Eternal City’ and the gala dinner,
held on a peaceful terrace of the Aventine Hill, watching the sun set over St Peter’s