We tested the efficacy of a single dose of Botumink® toxoid for protecting wild green-winged teal (Anas crecca) during botulism epizootics caused by Clostridium botulinum type C. We challenged control and immunized ducks with four different doses of type C botulinum toxin to determine the LD50 for this species and to evaluate vaccine protection. Fewer immunized ducks were affected with botulism than control ducks, indicating that a single dose of Botumink® toxoid could increase the survival of ducks during epizootics. However, the frequency of immunized ducks with signs of botulism increased with the challenge dose of botulinum toxin. Even at doses of botulinum toxin approximately 2 to 4 green-winged teal LD50, about 50% of the immunized ducks were affected. We believe an improved vaccine or a better delivery system is required to justify immunization of wild birds for experimental survival studies.
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