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Is your herd protected from leptospirosis?

Is Your Herd Protected from Leptospirosis?

58% of non-vaccinating dairy farms test positive for leptospirosis 

58% of non-vaccinating dairy farms and 22% of non-vaccinating beef farms test positive for exposure to leptospirosis. In the UK, two strains have been identified - Leptospira interrogans serovar hardjo and Leptospira borgpetersenii serovar hardjo.

The negative effects of leptospirosis 

In some cases, the effects of leptospirosis can be dramatic. For example, in a leptospirosis outbreak in Ayr, 12 cows from a herd of 160 experienced a sudden onset drop in milk production. In many cases, however, the underlying effects can go unnoticed but cause huge financial losses. These may include reduced milk yield, reduced fertility, weak calves and an increase in abortions. Leptospirosis also infects people, with cattle farmers at particular risk from the urine of infected cattle. This may result in protracted flu-like symptoms and, in rarer cases, liver and kidney failure.

Risk factors for leptospirosis in cattle include buying-in stock of unknown disease status, using a bull of unknown disease status, grazing near waterways and grazing with sheep.

Why should you vaccinate?

Vaccination remains an important control measure and continues to be effective at reducing the incidence of clinical disease6 and the risk of infection. Leptavoid®-H is the UK’s leading leptospirosis vaccine and the only one licensed to protect against BOTH UK strains and licensed to improve herd fertility, where infertility is caused by L. hardjo. It is important that your herd is fully vaccinated before Spring turnout because at grass uninfected cattle are exposed to the urine of infected animals. Natural service also spreads leptospirosis so remember to vaccinate the bull.

60% of Leptospirosis positive farms test positive for BVD

It has been found that over 60% of leptospirosis positive farms are also positive for Bovine Viral Diarrhoea (BVD). For added convenience, Leptavoid®-H is the only leptospirosis vaccine licensed to be given at the same time (at different injection sites*) as Bovilis®BVD, the UK’s leading BVD vaccine. This helps to reduce cattle handling and improve on-farm efficiency.


1 – BeefCheck and DairyCheck data, October 2013 – March 2015 2 - Ellis, W.A. et al. (1988), Res Vet Sci, 44, p375-379
2 – Milk drop due to leptospirosis in dairy cows, Veterinary Record, 7 March 2015, p247-250
3 - Health and Safety Executive. (2015) Leptospirosis. [Online] Available from: [accessed 16/11/15]
4 - NHS Choices. (2015) Leptospirosis. [Online] Available from: conditions/leptospirosis/pages/introduction.aspx [accessed 24/11/15]
5 - UK Zoonoses Annual Report. (2014). Non Statutory Zoonoses Annual Report [Online], available from: reports-2014 [accessed 16/11/15]
6 – Kynetec data MAT December 2017

* Safety and efficacy data are available which demonstrate that this vaccine can be administered to animals of 8 month of age or older on the same day, with Bovilis BVD vaccine. The two vaccines should be administered at separate sites. For the concurrent use of Leptavoid®-H

and Bovilis® BVD vaccines in naïve animals, the primary vaccination course must be completed at least 4 weeks before the expected gestation, in order that foetal protection can be established.

Leptavoid-H is a vaccine containing Leptospira interrogans serovar hardjo 204 (inactivated). Legal category: POM-VPS . Contact your veterinary surgeon or animal health professional for further information and advice.

Bovilis BVD is a vaccine containing BVD virus strain C86. Legal category: POM-V. Bovilis BVD is only available via your veterinary surgeon from whom advice should be sought. Leptavoid-H and Bovilis BVD are the property of Intervet International B.V. or affiliated companies or licensors and are protected by copyrights, trademark and other intellectual property laws. Copyright © 2013 Intervet

International B.V. All rights reserved. Further information is available from: MSD Animal Health Walton Manor Walton Milton Keynes MK7 7AJ Tel: 01908 685685 Email:


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