Development of respiratory disease vaccines for sheep

Project team: Andrew Potter

The sheep industry in Alberta and elsewhere in Canada has expanded significantly over the past five years. Current mortality losses in Alberta lamb feedlots are very high (4% to 6%) with acute septicemia and pneumonia accounting for 50% of the deaths. The purpose of this project is to identify the causative infectious agents of acute septicemia and pneumonia deaths in Alberta lambs and to develop protective vaccines to reduce morbidity and mortality losses. Antimicrobials are important to prevent and treat bacterial disease; however, the majority of lambs die acutely of septicemia and pneumonia without any obvious clinical signs of disease prior to death. Thus, efficacious vaccines are needed to prevent disease, improve performance and reduce carcass losses and condemnation. There are no licensed vaccines in North America to control potential infectious agents such as Mannheimia haemolytica, Bibersteinia trehalosi or Mycoplasma ovipneumoniae in sheep