Haemorrhagic septicaemia (HS) is an acute, fatal, septicaemic
disease of cattle and water buffaloes (Bubalus bubalis)
caused by a gram negative bacterium Pasteurella multocida,
serotypes B:2 and E:2. The organism is capable of surviving
in moist soil and water for up to 2-3 weeks.
Cattle and water buffaloes are the primary species affected
and water buffaloes are considered to be highly susceptible.
Animals between the ages of 6 and 24 months are the most severely
affected during outbreaks. The disease has been reported in
swine, fallow deer (Dama dama) and sporadically in
horses, donkeys, elephant and yak.
Control of HS is best achieved through good husbandry practices,
including acceptable plane of nutrition, increased awareness
of the disease, early reporting systems and organized vaccination
programs. Different types of vaccines have been developed.
Vaccine types include inactivated oil-adjuvanted vaccines
providing adequate protection between 9-12 months, and alum-precipitated
vaccines with protection of up to 6 months.
Large scale vaccination of cattle against HS is not practised
in many countries of Africa where the disease is endemic.
During the past decade, considerable research has been conducted
in South Asia aimed at producing oil adjuvant vaccines of
low viscosity. Sri Lanka and Indonesia have successfully used
lower levels of lanoline an emulsifying agent, in an effort
to reduce viscosity.