February 27, 2020


US universities develop vaccine for cattle anaplasmosis infections


A new vaccination method using ear implants for cattle anaplasmosis infections has been developed by researchers at Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine together with Iowa State University.

Bovine anaplasmosis is the most widespread tick transmitted disease in the world, caused by the Anaplasmamarginale blood-borne parasite.


Andrew Curtis, doctoral research assistant in the laboratory of Hans Coetzee, professor and head of the anatomy and physiology department said the current method to treat the disease is to add the antibiotic chlortetracycline to the cattle's mineral or feed.


Curtis said concerns have been raised over the possible appearance of bacterial antimicrobial resistance, that could affect both human and livestock health. There is currently an experimental vaccine to control anaplasmosis, but producers need to apply multiple injections to the animal, and the vaccine has not been evaluated in research studies.


The newly developed single-dose vaccine by the Kansas State research team is administered to the cattle's back of the ear and is able to protect the animal against clinical anaplasmosis for up to two years. Curtis said this type of anaplasmosis control is more accessible and suitable for livestock producers.


Coetzee said this new vaccine ear implant may be able to protect the cattle throughout its lifespan against disease such as bovine anaplasmosis and transform livestock production.


The implant platform patent is held by Iowa State University. The Kansas State / Manhattan Innovation Centre is seeking a partnership with Iowa State to develop the technology further.


For the product to be commercially viable, it needs to have a commercial partner to apply for US Department of Agriculture approval.


The Iowa Livestock Health Advisory Council partly supported the project, with Kansas State University providing faculty start-up funding.


The project is published in the Journal of Animal Science under "Rapid Communication: Development of a subcutaneous ear implant to deliver an anaplasmosis vaccine to dairy steers."


-      Kansas State University

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