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Survey launched to investigate OJD sheep vaccine effectiveness

by Sheep Central, 19 January 2018

An OJD-affected sheep among healthy animals.

SHEEP producers are being encouraged to participate in a new survey to help researchers investigating why the effectiveness of the Gudair vaccine for Ovine Johne’s Disease appears to vary on different properties.

The one-page survey is being launched this week as part of a project being funded by Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) and led by researchers at The University of Sydney.

Gudair is Australia’s only vaccine for the control of the fatal, wasting disease OJD.

MLA project manager – Animal Health, Welfare & Biosecurity, Dr Johann Schröder, said the survey is intended to investigate variable responses in flocks to the vaccine on some properties.

“One of the discoveries from MLA’s Johne’s Disease research program was that despite regular Gudair vaccination over many years, there are still sheep on some properties that get infected and ill from OJD,” Dr Schröder said.

“Research conducted in the past 15 years has shown that vaccination with Gudair substantially reduces clinical disease, mortalities, and the shedding of bacteria in the faeces, but sheep in some flocks continue to shed and succumb to Johne’s Disease.

“Researchers are investigating why the effectiveness of Gudair seems to vary on different properties and the reasons for the persistence of the disease on some properties.”

Dr Schröder said the survey was part of a larger project being funded by MLA Donor Company (MDC), investigating biomarkers in sheep to help identify animals more resilient to disease and other pathogens such as internal parasites.

MLA is distributing the research survey to its sheep producer members by email over the next week but encourages all other sheep producers to participate.

Producers can also participate in the research survey by clicking this link:
https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/GGZSBJD

Source: MLA.

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