New Poultry Vaccine from Zoetis Helps Build Strong Immune Foundation in Breeder Hens and Their Progeny

Poulvac Maternavac® 4 protects against IBD, reovirus, Newcastle, IBV

DURHAM, N.C., Oct. 29, 2019 — Poulvac Maternavac® 4, an inactivated vaccine from Zoetis that helps protect chickens against four important diseases, has been licensed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and will begin shipping this fall, the company announced today.   

The new vaccine is built on the success of Poulvac Maternavac® IBD-Reo — a vaccine that protects against standard and variant strains of infectious bursal disease (IBD), as well as malabsorption caused by reovirus. Poulvac Maternavac 4 offers these same protections, in addition to Newcastle disease (ND) and infectious bronchitis virus (IBV). (See complete indications below.)

“The vaccine helps to build a strong base of immunity against four diseases in breeder hens and three diseases in broiler offspring,” said Kalen Cookson, DVM, director of clinical research, Zoetis. 

“That’s particularly important today because raising robust broilers has become more challenging with the surge in ‘no antibiotics ever’ production,” he added. “It stands to reason that chicks with a solid immune base are more likely to perform well during grow-out, regardless of the production system.” 

As an added benefit, using the four-way vaccine helps to reduce labor and bird stress by eliminating at least one injection, he explained.

Careful strain selection

Like Poulvac Maternavac IBD-Reo, Poulvac Maternavac 4 contains the classic Lukert strain of IBD and the cross-protective variant Group-6 produced on bursal-tissue origin (BTO), Cookson said, noting the most prevalent IBD strains are new-type variants.1

The reovirus antigens in Poulvac Maternavac 4 are the tenosynovitis strain 1733 VA and the malabsorption strain 2408. Previous studies by Zoetis demonstrated that progeny receiving higher classic reovirus antibodies had less tendon swelling and were protected from weight suppression due to Variant Group-1 (Genotype 5) reovirus.2 

The ND component of Poulvac Maternavac 4 is based on the mesogenic Kimber strain, which provides strong disease protection against Newcastle disease. “We expect it should relieve concerns about reactions in the hatchery to Newcastle,” 3 Cookson said, adding that virulent ND, which is deadly to poultry, has been a growing problem in certain areas of the United States.4

Poulvac Maternavac 4 contains the Massachusetts strain of infectious bronchitis, which helps to boost the titer response to all the IBV serotypes — both vaccines and wild type — to which the pullet has been exposed,5 he added. 


Poulvac Maternavac 4 has been shown to be effective for vaccination of healthy, primed chickens against standard and variant IBD, ND, IBV, as well as tenosynovitis and malabsorption due to reovirus. The vaccine has also been shown to protect progeny against these same diseases except IBV.

The four-way vaccine should be administered to primed birds at 0.5 mL at 16 to 22 weeks of age (approximately 4 weeks prior to lay). There is a withholding period of 42 days before processing. 

For more information, poultry veterinarians and producers should contact their Zoetis representative.

About Zoetis
Zoetis is the leading animal health company, dedicated to supporting its customers and their businesses. Building on more than 65 years of experience in animal health, Zoetis discovers, develops, manufactures and commercializes medicines, vaccines and diagnostic products, which are complemented by biodevices, genetic tests and a range of services. Zoetis serves veterinarians, livestock producers and people who raise and care for farm and companion animals with sales of its products in more than 100 countries. In 2018, the company generated annual revenue of $5.8 billion with approximately 10,000 employees. For more information, visit

For further information contact:
Julie Groce
Zoetis US LLC

Joseph Feeks
PR Works

1Alkie TN, Rautenschlein S. Infectious bursal disease virus in poultry: current status and future prospects.

2Cookson K, et al. Comparison of reovirus challenge viruses s-1133 and variant Group-1 in two commercial broiler flocks with different maternal immunity levels. Abstracts, International Poultry Scientific Forum, Atlanta, 2014.

3Eldemery F, et al. Infectious Bronchitis Virus S2 of 4/91 Expressed from Recombinant Virus Does Not Protect Against Ark-Type Challenge. Avian Dis. 2017 Sep;61(3):397-401. 

4USDA, APHIS, Newcastle Disease, Sept. 13, 2019. Accessed Sept. 16, 2019.

5Eldemery F, et al. Avian Dis. 2017 Sep;61(3):397-401. 



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