Unique Vaccine Boosts Anaplasmosis Protection

Producers in endemic areas are also using an anaplasmosis vaccine to boost protection. ( Drovers )

Anaplasmosis has reached critical impact levels in many regions, with researchers finding higher infection rates and dozens of separate strains. At least one estimate puts the economic cost of anaplasmosis to U.S. cattlemen at $300 million annually.

Currently, there is only one vaccine available for the disease, manufactured by University Products LLC, Louisiana State University (LSU), Baton Rouge, La.

D. Gene Luther, DVM, one of the developers of the vaccine, says that while the vaccine is still considered experimental, the product has been sold to producers in approved states since 2000.

Initially developed in the early 1990s by scientists at LSU, the vaccine became the victim of several mergers and acquisitions in the pharmaceutical industry. That left University Products to manufacture and distribute the vaccine with USDA’s approval as an experimental vaccine.

“The vaccine is not licensed by the USDA but is approved for use as an experimental vaccine,” Luther says. The vaccine’s experimental status allows veterinarians in 26 states and Puerto Rico to prescribe it for use by producers. While the vaccine has not undergone independent, peer-reviewed scientific studies, many current users claim the disease would otherwise devastate their herds.

Since 2000, “we have marketed hundreds of thousands of doses,” Luther says. The vaccine is a 1 cc dose given subcutaneous in the neck only. The program calls for two doses the first year with an annual booster each year thereafter. The product is a killed vaccine and is stable at environmental temperatures. The vaccine can only be sold to licensed veterinarians.

“The second dose should be given four weeks after the first dose,” Luther says. “It takes time for the immune system to develop the immunity after the vaccination. The animal should get good protective immunity in a week to ten days after the second injection of vaccine.”


Risk of Cattle Contracting Anaplasmosis Grows

This interactive map shows the greatest risk areas for anaplasmosis infections. Every state, except Hawaii has reported cases of anaplasmosis in cattle. An experimental vaccine from University Products LLC has been approved for veterinarian use in 26 states and Puerto Rico. Roll over each state to see more information. (Produced by Lori Hays)




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Submitted by Dr. Hans Coetzee on Thu, 05/10/2018 - 07:55

As Dr. Luther pointed out, this vaccine has not been approved by USDA. To my knowledge there is not one peer reviewed scientific study that has demonstrated that the vaccine is effective in mitigating the losses associated with an anaplasmosis outbreak. Given that the vaccine has been available for decades and Dr. Luther is quoted as saying that University Products has “marketed hundreds of thousands of doses” of the vaccine it seems very reasonable that this use should have resulted in at least one study demonstrating a return on investment for using the vaccine. However, we have been unable to locate such a study assuming that this exists. Given that the primary and booster vaccine entails a $14/head investment for the producer, I feel it is important for your readers to be aware that we currently do not have independent scientific studies available to us to support that this will reduces losses associated with an anaplasmosis outbreak. In cases where the vaccine has been deployed after an outbreak, cattle have often acquired persistent anaplasmosis infections through natural exposure and are therefore immune to reinfection. In many cases this response is incorrectly attributed to the vaccine when in most cases, these animals became immune during the course of the outbreak. Producers should discuss the use of the vaccine with their herd veterinarian to determine if this constitutes a quantifiable return on investment for their operation.

Submitted by Will on Thu, 05/10/2018 - 13:54

Maybe eastern KS producers would benefit from some on-farm research guidance from your Extension mission at K-State if you're not going to conduct a pier reviewed controlled study of the product for them.
I have had anaplaz loss before using this product. I do not know if it has protected me from further losses. What I do know is that if it does work, I am administering a protective product to every animal selected for receiving it...that's something I can't ensure via variable mineral consumption of CTC and the allowable variance of CTC in it by FDA.

In reply to by Dr. Hans Coetzee (not verified)

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