Vaccination of piglets at 1 week of age with an inactivated Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae vaccine reduces lung lesions and improves average daily gain in body weight.
A killed Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae vaccine was evaluated in a single swine herd in which the farrowing barn and weaner rooms were on one Mycoplasma-free farm, while the growing and finishing barn was on a separate farm on which Mycoplasma was present. The study was carried out in a cohort of pigs born in a 12-week period. Pigs born in 6 of the 12 wk were vaccinated and the rest were left as controls. The vaccine was administered twice at approximately 3 and 6 wk of age. Carcass characteristics, lung lesions, and growth rates were recorded on 893, 390, and 220 pigs, respectively. The vaccine reduced the prevalence of pneumonic lesions in slaughter hogs from 69% to 36% (P < 0.001). It also appeared to reduce the prevalence of pleuritis from 20% to 13%, but the difference was only statistically significant at P = 0.07. The vaccine had no effects on carcass characteristics except that carcasses of vaccinated pigs were, on average, 1 kg heavier than those of nonvaccinated pigs, and a smaller percentage of vaccinated pigs were shipped "light" (carcass weight < 70 kg). Two methods were used to estimate the effect of the vaccine on growth rates (as measured by days to 80 kg carcass weight) resulting in estimates of 11 and 2 d reduction attributable to vaccination, respectively. The latter estimate was probably an underestimate for reasons discussed in the paper.