Editor’s Note: A stop sale was placed on the pigeon fever vaccine on April 9. Find additional information at TheHorse.com/35650.

Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc. announced today (March 5) that the USDA has granted a conditional license for a vaccine for Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis, more commonly known as pigeon fever.

"We are proud to equip veterinarians with a vaccine to help in the fight against this serious and unpredictable disease," says Robert Keene, DVM, equine technical manager at Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc. "During the last five to seven years, an alarming increase in the number of pigeon fever cases has been reported in the United States, particularly in regions where it has never appeared before. Until now, protocols used to combat this disease focused largely on treatment, not vaccination."

A conditional license is granted when there is a demonstrated need in the field for such a product. A conditionally licensed vaccine must have demonstrated field safety and a reasonable expectation of efficacy. Further efficacy and potency test studies are currently in progress. A conditionally licensed vaccine can be distributed as authorized in each state, and used by, or under the supervision of a veterinarian.

C. pseudotuberculosis is a soil-borne bacteria that can persist for months in a variety of environmental conditions and is primarily spread to horses through open wounds or flies. Prevalent in hot, dry climates, the disease was once thought to