In a field trial, 9174 lambs from seven commercial sheep flocks with a history of subclinical pneumonia were either vaccinated with Ovipast Plus (Intervet) or given a placebo by systematic random allocation; they were vaccinated twice at an interval of four to six weeks and grazed on pasture in the same paddocks. They were weighed at the first vaccination, 11 and 23 weeks later, and one to three days before they were slaughtered. The extent of the pneumonic lesions in their lungs was scored visually postmortem. A subset of pneumonic lung samples was examined bacteriologically and histopathologically. There were no statistically significant differences between the pneumonic lesions at slaughter or the mean average daily weight gains of the vaccinated and placebo-treated lambs between 11 and 23 weeks or between first vaccination and slaughter. The vaccinated lambs had a lower mean daily gain between first vaccination and 11 weeks. The extent of pneumonic lesions at slaughter was negatively correlated with the mean daily gain between first vaccination and slaughter. There were no significant differences between the frequency of isolation of Mannheimia (Pasteurella) haemolytica and Pasteurella trehalosi or the histopathological classification of disease between pneumonic lung samples from the placebo-treated and vaccinated lambs.
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