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ENZOOTIC pneumonia, most commonly caused by Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae, is a chronic respiratory condition affecting pigs worldwide. It can lead to a decrease in production performance in affected pig herds, but also, importantly, has the potential to increase susceptibility to coinfections with other bacterial and viral agents, contributing to the development of the porcine respiratory disease complex (Thacker and Minion 2012). Therefore, controlling M hyopneumoniae in the field remains a high priority for pigs practitioners and producers. Means to control infections caused by M hyopneumoniae include improving management practices, using antimicrobials, and administrating vaccines (Maes and others 2008), as well as focusing strategies on eliminating the disease (Holst and others 2015). Although there is widespread use of specific management practices and antibiotic treatments to combat the disease, use of vaccine products to control M hyopneumoniae infections is by far the most commonly used strategy.
Originally introduced to the market several decades ago, commercial vaccines against M hyopneumoniae are mainly bacterins, based on different bacterial strains and adjuvants (Haesebrouck and others 2004, Maes 2014). The advantages and limitations of M hyopneumoniae bacterins have been characterised over the years (Haesebrouck and others 2004, Maes and others 2008, Maes 2014), and a wealth of literature supports the use of vaccination as part of a comprehensive disease control programme (Thacker and Minion 2012), even …