BATON ROUGE, La., Aug. 4, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — University Products, LLC recently spoke about the importance of using a vaccine in the battle against bovine anaplasmosis, offering a firsthand account by Dr. Larry D. Thompson, D.V.M. to illustrate the swift progression of the disease – which can sweep through an entire herd in just two seasons. Anaplasmosis is a blood disease carried by parasites that infects red blood cells and causes severe anemia and death, representing a major annual financial loss to ranchers and the global beef industry of over $1 Billion annually. Developed by Gene Luther, D.V.M., Ph.D., the University Products vaccine has been widely deployed since 2000 in multiple U.S. states and Puerto Rico.
"In Southeastern Oklahoma [for example], deer and cows may be non-clinical carriers of infected blood that serve as an infectious source of contaminated blood to be passed to naïve cows via arthropod vectors during the summer and fall months," said Dr. Thompson. "In the summer and fall seasons, horse flies and ticks are the most common source of Anaplasmosis outbreaks … Anything that transmits inflected blood is a potential carrier: ticks, flies, vaccination needles, processing tools, all can transfer enough inflected blood to establish an active infection."
According to Healthy Farms/Health Agriculture, not all cattle infected with anaplasmosis die, but diagnosing them is important to prevent a full outbreak. Fighting the disease is especially difficult and complicated due to multiple transmission modes. Fully eliminating the specific vector population of ticks and biting flies is neither practical nor possible, and once infected, Anaplasmosis can quickly taint entire herds. It is further spread to new cattle in ways most ranchers may not consider: blood-contaminated dehorners, needles, ear taggers, and a wide variety of other livestock instruments.
Treatment usually involves repeated rounds of antibiotics along with supportive care to help increase the survival rate of infected cattle. Cattle that recover become lifelong carriers of the disease however, and constant antibiotic use is problematic for a variety for reasons: not the least of which is the creation of antibiotic resistant superbugs.
"There is currently only one vaccine available for use in the United States [which I have used] for over 28 years with no side effects … produced in Louisiana at LSU by Dr. Gene Luther," Dr. Thompson said.
"Our vaccine packet gives detailed instructions to ranchers and producers on how to help prevent a full outbreak," said vaccine creator, Dr. Luther. "In the cases where Anaplasmosis is already suspected to be in incubation, ranchers can still use antibiotics if they need, simply injecting in a different location from the vaccine-injection site. No vaccine of any kind is 100% effective, but ours absolutely provides better coverage than insect-mitigation programs, and vaccinating is far less problematic than traditional antibiotic regimens."
The University Products vaccine requires only two doses in the first year, with one annual booster each year thereafter, and is safe to use in any stage of bovine pregnancy. A detailed description of the vaccine and its method of administration is publicly available for PDF download.
For more information on vaccine availability licensed veterinarians can contact Dr. Luther directly by email at
SOURCE University Products LLC