The present study was designed to assess and compare three different formulations of the new
Onderstepoort infectious coryza (IC) quadrivalent vaccine, which contain an NAD-independent strain
of Avibacterium paragallinarum (previously known as Haemophilus paragallinarum), and a commercial
IC vaccine, not containing an NAD-independent strain, for their safety and ability to protect chickens of varying ages against virulent challenges with four different serovars of A. paragallinarum, including the NAD-independent strain of the C-3 serovar. Four groups of 140 chickens each were vaccinated at the age of 17 weeks and revaccinated at the age of 19 weeks with each of the four vaccine formulations. A similar sized group of non-vaccinated chickens was used as control. Two rounds of challenge were conducted: a group of chicken in each
vaccination group was challenged between 31 and 35 weeks of age, while another group was challenged between 51 and 55 weeks of age. The “in-contact” challenge model was used in this experiment. For each vaccination group, the four challenge strains representing four local serovars were used in each challenge round. The efficacy of the vaccines was compared based on overall protection levels obtained and the duration of protection. The safety of the different vaccines was determined by the severity of post-vaccination reactions. The need for the incorporation of the NAD-independent strain in the vaccine was evidenced by the low protection level against NAD-independent challenge recorded in the group of birds vaccinated with the commercial vaccine. The results obtained confirmed not only the variation in virulence of different South African serovars, with serovar C-3 being the most virulent and serovar B having almost no virulence but also the age related increase in susceptibility. The importance of a suitable formulation of the vaccine is discussed.