Merck debuts Fortegra in South America to combat coccidiosis in broilers

Merck ($MRK) Animal Health launched its Fortegra vaccine in South America to help combat a parasitic disease that strikes at the intestinal tract of broilers.

The vaccine contains the coccidiosis strains found in broiler houses, including precocious and classic strains of E. maxima, the company said in a press release. Fortegra spurs faster immunity and broader protection versus conventional vaccines.

Immunity introduced earlier provides more time for "compensatory growth" and can help prevent performance losses.

Fernando Vargas, global technical director for Merck Animal Health

"Vaccination is an important alternative for controlling coccidiosis in broiler flocks, as using in-feed anticoccidials allows the disease to progress at a sub-clinical level that is difficult to detect but can result in poor growth, uniformity, feed conversion and breast meat yield," Fernando Vargas, global technical director for Merck Animal Health, said in a statement.

A pen study cited by Merck said Fortegra protected more birds at a faster rate compared to a conventional vaccine and a control group.

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