A comparison of Newcastle disease vaccines available in Malawi

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There are a range of vaccines available in Malawi to combat Newcastle disease (ND) in poultry. Some are well suited for use in a commercial environment; others for use as a first vaccine; others for use in free-range village poultry. The table below gives a brief summary of some of the more important features of the live vaccines currently available. It will help you decide which particular Newcastle disease vaccine is best suited for your purposes.

Vaccine strain1 Administration2 Immuno-genicity3 Vaccinal reaction4 Thermo-stability Cost5
Hitchner Water/spray
(occasionally nasal/eye drop)
++++ Low Medium Low
F strain Water/spray
(occasionally nasal/eye drop)
++++ Low Medium Low
La Sota Water/spray +++++ Moderate6 Medium7 Low
I-2 Eye drop +++++ Very low Good8 Medium


1. Not to be confused with trade names. One strain might be available under a number of different trade names all of which are essentially the same. [Top]

2. Always carefully read the directions on the label. Some formulations of the same strain are suitable for certain routes of administration and not for other routes. [Top]

3. This is a measure of the 'strength' of the vaccine in protecting chickens from ND. [Top]

4. This is a measure of the 'safety' of the vaccine in not harming chickens. [Top]

5. Indicative cost per bird vaccinated, assuming optimal use of a full vial of vaccine. In practice, all these vaccines are extremely cheap considering their potential to prevent significant losses. [Top]

6. La Sota should not be used for initial ND vaccination, especially in baby chicks. It can harm or kill vulnerable chickens. Many people do not know this. [Top]

7. Some La Sota vaccine coming from India is claimed to be thermo-tolerant but we have found no evidence in support of the claim. [Top]

8. I-2 is well suited for use in village poultry. Other ND vaccines work well in commercial settings but their effectiveness under practical village conditions has been disappointing. [Top]

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