Leptosporosis & BVD Vaccination

Leptosporosis (Lepto) is a bacterial infection that colonises in the kidney and genital tract of its host.  Lepto can be shed from these organs into the urine for more than 12 months and thus releasing more bacteria into the environment.  Lepto is a highly infectious and is widespread in Ireland with over 70% of dairy herds in Ireland infected. If leptospirosis gets into a herd it can have serious effects on productivity and profitability.  Leptospirosis is not just a threat to a herd; it can also affect humans and it is difficult for milkers in the pit to avoid spatters on urine on exposed skin i.e. the face and hands. In addition, if you are an employer you are obliged to provide a safe place of work. For these reasons, it is highly recommended that all dairy herds undergo a vaccination programme to combat Leptospirosis.

Bovine Viral Disease (BVD) is widespread in Ireland and is estimated to cost Irish farmers around €102 million every year.  Persistently Infected (PI) animals are the main source of infection within herds and means of spread between herds.  Calves become PI animals when their mother is exposed to the virus during the second to fourth month of pregnancy (or if the mother is PI).  Until the national BVD eradication programme is successfully completed, farmers should strive to ensure BVD is controlled in their own herds.  There are three key components to controlling BVD:
1. Removing infection (removing PIs from the herd)
2. Preventing infection (farm biosecurity)
3. Managing immunity (vaccination)

Vaccination for Lepto & BVD
To maximise the benefit of vaccinating it is important to follow the following key points:
1. Fully follow the vaccine manufacturer’s instructions.
LEPTO vaccines

As a rule of thumb, aim to implement your Lepto and BVD vaccination programmes one month before your mating start date. Note that Leptovoid H and Bovillus BVD are licensed for use in the one day. However, while it is practical to combine the annual Lepto and BVD booster or the initial shot of the primary course; it may not be practical to combine the second shot of the primary course i.e. strictly follow the intervals between the primary course shots as per the vaccine manufacturer’s instructions.

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For further help and advice contact your local Agri representative

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