Volunteers needed for sweet itch vaccine trial

  • Do you own a horse or pony who suffers from sweet itch? The National Sweet Itch Centre is running what it hopes will be the final trial of the proposed sweet itch vaccine and is looking for volunteers.

    Subject to approval from the Veterinary Medicines Directorate, manufacturers hope to launch the product next year.

    Sweet itch is a seasonal allergy caused by an overreaction to midge bites and can occur in any equine. The proposed vaccine, called BioEos, has been four years in the making and regulates the reaction of the immune system.

    Four trials were carried out in 2006 and results from the first trial, on 217 horses, showed that 70% of owners considered the treatment a success. Animals taking part in the trial will receive three injections from a vet within two weeks and are then fed one capsule a fortnight.

    The trial will cost participating owners £235, plus vet’s fees. Contact Jennifer Greaves (tel: 01352 771718) or e-mail: horses@sweet-itch.com

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