Intervet Schering-Plough relaunched the strangles vaccine Equilis strepE in the UK in March 2011. Used in the control and management of strangles, this vaccine is the only licensed strangles vaccine in Europe.
First launched in 2004, the unique vaccine reduces the clinical signs of strangles and the occurrence of lymph node abscesses in horses that have become infected.
Vicki Farr veterinary advisor at Intervet said: “We withdrew the vaccine in 2006 following receipt of data suggesting the product might not have met the stated shelf life requirements, although there were no implications for safety or efficacy. This has now been resolved; we have put another three years of research and development behind the product and are confident that it will fulfil a much needed role as part of a strangles management programme.”
“Just as when the vaccine was first launched, Intervet / Schering-Plough is continuing to recommend a tailored approach to vaccination depending upon the level of risk.”
The vaccine was pulled from use a few years ago when the efficacy dropped below what the company considered adequate. There was no safety issue with the vaccine.
The relaunched vaccine has the same protocol i.e 2 vaccines 4 weeks apart and then booster vaccines every 3 to 6 months depending on the degree of risk to the individual horse. Foals can be done from 4 months. The vaccine is a low volume dose given inside the upper lip. Occasional local reactions are seen.
Isolated individuals or horses in small groups with little or no chance of meeting animals of unknown history are unlikely to need vaccinating. However owners of horses in larger yards or those frequently travelling and staying away should consider vaccination.
As a practice it is recommended that any yard owner should implement a 21 day isolation policy with a blood sample towards the end of the quarantine period as a minimum precaution against introducing a carrier