The Merial Equine Health division has a range of equine flu services to help veterinary practices increase the uptake of vaccination and educate owners on the importance of protecting the equine population. These include:
Tell-Tail™ Disease Outbreak Alerts
Merial currently works with the HBLB Equine Influenza Surveillance Programme at the AHT via its Tell-Tail™ service. This personalised text message service alerts equine veterinary practices and professional horse owners to outbreaks of equine flu in the UK that have been picked up via the AHT surveillance scheme.
Individuals signed up to Tell-Tail™ will be notified of a flu outbreak within 48 hours of confirmed diagnosis. This enables practices to relay this information to clients, strengthening their trust in the practice while encouraging them to book their horses in for vaccinations or boosters as required.
In 2014 and 2015, equine vets received 39 alerts notifying them of 52 outbreaks from counties as distant as Ayrshire, Perthshire, Essex and Cornwall.13
Tell-Tail Links™ Disease Alert for Horse Owners
Tell-Tail links™ is a Merial text message service that veterinary practices can use to alert horse owners to outbreaks of equine flu in or around their local area and encourage them to get their horses vaccinated. It can also be used as a reminder function for other practice services.
In the first ever Tell-Tail Links™ broadcast, a text was sent from a practice in Cardiff to 777 horse owners. Within 2 weeks, 47 new horses were booked in for a primary vaccination course.14
Equine Flu Awareness Month 2016
Merial, in conjunction with the AHT, launched ‘Equine Flu Awareness Month’ in April 2016 to help increase awareness of equine flu and the importance of surveillance among vets and horse owners. Equine veterinary practices will be encouraged to promote the initiative by ensuring horses with signs of infectious respiratory disease are tested, and driving vaccine uptake amongst unvaccinated and lapsed horses through vaccine amnesties.
Back on Track Vaccine Amnesty Initiative
The Merial Equine Health ‘Vaccination Back on Track’ initiative supports equine veterinary practices in targeting owners of horses that are unvaccinated or have lapsed vaccinations. Practices choose which month to run the initiative, which allows all eligible horses to receive a discounted primary vaccination course of ProteqFlu®;. Any visit fee must be borne by the horse owner.
For more information on the amnesty initiative, please contact your Merial Equine Territory Manager.
It is estimated that during an amnesty month a practice, on average, will sign up 25 new horse owners.15
ProteqFlu®equine flu vaccine
ProteqFlu® is the only equine flu vaccine in Europe fully compliant with current World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) recommendations, containing both the Clade 1 and Clade 2 strains.7
The vaccine uses recombinant canarypox vector technology to closely mimic natural infection.8
After vaccination, the vector induces a strong cellular and humoral immunity, which is essential in protecting against this highly contagious disease.9
In challenge studies, ProteqFlu® was shown to protect horses 14 days after completion of the primary vaccination course and throughout the intervals between subsequent boosters.10–12
ProteqFlu® vaccine has been successfully used in vaccination programmes implemented to control major equine flu outbreaks in South Africa (2003) and Australia (2007).
Use Medicines Responsibly
ProteqFlu® contains Influenza A/eq/Ohio/03, Influenza A/eq/Richmond/1/07. ProteqFlu® is a registered trademark of Merial Ltd. Tell-Tail™ and Tell-Tail Links™ are trademarks of Merial Ltd. © Merial 2016. All rights reserved. Legal category UK: POM-V. For further information refer to the datasheet, contact Merial Animal Health Ltd, CM19 5TG, UK or call the Merial Customer Support Centre on 0870 6000 123.
1. Baker D. Equine Vet J 1986;18(2):93–96. 2. Merial Proactive Insight benchmarking 2015. 3. Equiflunet. Available at: http://equiflunet.org.uk/ (Accessed December 2015). 4. Davis J et al. Transbound Emerg Dis 2009;56(1-2):31–38. 5. Firestone S et al. PLoS ONE 2012;7(4):e35284. 6. Elton D, Cullinane A. Equine Vet J 2013;45(6):768–769. 7. OIE Expert Surveillance Panel on Equine Influenza Vaccine Composition – conclusions and recommendations (March 2015). Available at: http://www.oie.int/our-scientific-expertise/specific-information-and-recommendations/equine-influenza/ (Accessed December 2015). 8. Paillot R et al. Vet Immunol Immunopathol 2006;112:225–233. 9. Paillot R et al. Vaccine 2007;25;5606–5612. 10. Paillot R et al. J Comp Path 2014;137;876–880. 11. Minke et al. Am J Vet Res 2007;68:213–219. 12. Paillot R et al. BEVA Congress. 2014. 13. Animal Health Trust, Merial sponsored Tell-Tail alerts 2014 and 2015. 14. Merial practice data, 2011. 15. Merial practice data, 2010–2013 inclusive.