Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health launches a new vaccine against Bovine Viral Diarrhea (BVD) in Europe. Bovela is the first and only vaccine in the European Union (EU) for active immunization of cattle against both genotypes of the virus (BVDV-1 and BVDV-2). It has received its marketing authorization by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) in December 2014.

BVD is one of the major cattle diseases with worldwide distribution. Like any viral disease, BVD is not treatable. Affected animals may suffer severely from the infection, as the disease can cause a variety of clinical symptoms, including immunosuppression (i.e. the reduced activity of the immune system to fight back other pathogens), infertility, abortions and congenital defects in calves. Some animals may develop a more severe condition known as mucosal disease, the result of which is a high mortality rate in affected animals.

Bovela is an important advance in safeguarding the health of cattle. It reduces clinical signs and prevents the birth of so called persistently infected (PI) animals caused by transplacental infection. PI animals are considered the main reason why this disease is still perpetuated.

"In the European Union the percentage of cattle serologically tested positive for Bovine Viral Diarrhea is around 60%. This disease can result in a large amount of animals suffering and bearing a risk to healthy cows", comments Dr Joachim Hasenmaier, responsible for the Corporate Board Divisions Animal Health and Consumer Healthcare at Boehringer Ingelheim. "We are proud to provide this new and convenient tool that will help veterinarians and farmers enormously to protect cattle against Bovine Viral Diarrhea."

BVD economically impacts cattle farmers due to decreased weight gain, decreased milk production, reproductive losses, or even the death of the infected animals. Most of the animals show symptoms that can be confused with other ailments; this makes the detection and control of this concealed disease even more complicated.

Bovela is approved for EU-wide use by regulatory authorities in cattle from three months of age and can be used in pregnant cows regardless of their gestation status. Bovela delivers one year of immunity after a single intramuscular injection of 2 ml.

In the future, Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health plans to launch Bovela in other important cattle farming regions outside the EU as well.