Blackleg Vaccine For Cattle

Blackleg is a fatal disease of young cattle. It produces an acute local infection, and the resulting blood poisoning leads to rapid death. The name ‘blackleg’ derives from the fact that the site of infection is often a leg muscle, and that the affected muscle is dark in colour. Although the disease is widely distributed in New South Wales, most losses from blackleg occur in the eastern half of the state. In some areas the disease may appear on several properties, while in other areas only isolated farms are affected. Sometimes, only part of a property is affected.

Blackleg is an endogenous acute infection that principally affects cattle, whose etiologic agent is the anaerobic bacterium Clostridium chauvoei. In recent years, the major virulence factors of C. chauvoei have been discovered and described. However, the pathogenesis of blackleg in cattle, and in particular, the movement of the pathogen from the point of entry to the affected tissues is not yet fully elucidated. Disease control is based on appropriate management and vaccination. This review summarizes the latest research findings that contribute toward the understanding of the disease in cattle, provide a foundation to preventive strategies, and identify future research needs.


Blackleg has been recognized as a livestock disease since before medieval times, and today we often use the term loosely to describe several diseases caused by organisms in the Clostridium class of bacteria. However, there are more than 60 different types of Clostridium bacteria, and not all cause disease. What we commonly call blackleg is a highly fatal infection caused by Clostridium chauvoei, resulting in a gas gangrene in the muscle of young cattle, usually occurring between 4 months and 2 years of age. Blackleg seldom affects cattle older than 2 years of age, most likely due to immunity induced by vaccines or natural exposure.

However, sporadic cases do occur in cattle older than 2 years and are often associated with the reuse of needles for multiple injections. Blackleg can also be a problem in cattle less than 4 months old that do not receive adequate passive immunity through colostrum. Some of the other clostridial diseases are not as restricted to younger animals as is seen with blackleg


Helps protect against diseases caused by the clostridial agents Clostridium chauvoei; Cl. septicum; Cl. novyi; Cl. sordellii;and Cl. perfringens Types B, C and D; and bovine pneumonia caused by M. haemolytica Type A1.

Dosage & Administration

The vaccine should be administered by subcutaneous injection in the lateral side of the upper neck observing aseptic precautions.

Cattle and sheep: 2 ml/dose.


  • Two injections separated by an interval of 3-4 weeks to animals from 3 months of age onwards.
  • Immunisation to be completed 2-3 weeks before the period of risk.
  • Revaccination with a single booster injection 2-3 weeks before the period of risk.
  • The interval for booster injections should be no more than 12 months.


  • Two injections should be given, preferably separated by an interval of at least 6 weeks, with the second vaccination being given 3-4 weeks before lambing.
  • ubsequent pregnancies: a single booster injection 3-4 weeks before lambing.
  • Ewes can be vaccinated during late pregnancy.
  • Lambs may be vaccinated from 3 weeks of age onwards: two injections with an interval of 3-4 weeks to be completed 2-3 weeks before the period of risk.

Prices of Blackleg Vaccine For Cattle

$12.79 – $10.59

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