ANSES announces that the vaccines tested on ducks are “very effective”

2023-05-25 18:21:37

After the announcement of the effectiveness of vaccines on ducks, the Ministry of Agriculture hopes for a vaccination campaign from the fall of 2023.

Two vaccines tested in France against avian flu have proven to be “very effective” in protecting mule ducks, bred for foie gras, from the virus, the health agency Anses told AFP on Thursday, paving the way for a national vaccination. within a few months.

The “favorable results provide sufficient guarantees to launch a vaccination campaign from the fall of 2023”, for its part wrote the Ministry of Agriculture on its website.

More than six million animals slaughtered this season

Bird flu, reappeared early in the South-West at the beginning of Maycontinues to accelerate its progression with more than 50 outbreaks recorded in duck and chicken farms, in particular in the Gers, we learned from concordant sources on Monday.

The repetition and scale of the crises linked to avian flu (more than 20 million poultry slaughtered in 2021-2022 in France, already more than six million in 2022-23) have convinced European countries to imagine a vaccine strategy.

In France, an experiment was launched last year around two candidate vaccines for waterfowl, developed by the Boehringer Ingelheim and Ceva Santé Animale laboratories.

Other vaccines tested in Europe

European neighbors are testing vaccines in other poultry species. The French experiment involved a few thousand ducks, vaccinated or not, and euthanized at the end of the process. The virus currently circulating in France and around the world was inoculated into some of the ducks, previously vaccinated, to measure how much virus they excreted, and if they could still contaminate their congeners.

“Vaccination has made it possible to have very little excretion of the virus in inoculated animals”, whether by the respiratory and digestive routes”, summarized to AFP Béatrice Grasland, head of the national reference laboratory of ANSES. for Ploufragan-Plouzané-Niort avian influenza. The two vaccines, with “very similar” results, also “almost stopped direct transmission” and “abolished” indirect transmission, by air.

“It’s very effective”, summed up Béatrice Grasland, noting a “very good level of protection” for vaccinated ducks “even in direct contact, in the same park, with the droppings” of infected ducks.

After a lull of a month and a half, the virus has been spreading again since the beginning of May in dozens of farms in the South-West, in particular in the Gers. France plans to vaccinate ducks as a priority (mulard type but also Peking and Barbary – the latter being rather raised for their meat) because of their “particular role” in the dynamics of the epizootic.

Ducks are very susceptible to the virus and excrete it into the environment even before showing symptoms, which contributes to the low noise spread of avian flu.

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