Ear implant delivers anaplasmosis vaccine to cattle

Researchers at the Kansas State University, in collaboration with Iowa State University, have developed a new vaccine delivery platform to produce long-lasting protection against bovine anaplasmosis. The results of their study are published in the Journal of Animal Science.

“Currently, a common strategy to control anaplasmosis is to provide mineral or feed containing the antibiotic chlortetracycline to cattle on pasture,” said Andrew Curtis, doctoral research assistant in the laboratory of Hans Coetzee, professor and head of the anatomy and physiology department, Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine.

“This practice has raised concerns about the potential emergence of antimicrobial resistance in bacteria that may pose a risk to human and animal health,” Curtis said. “Although there is an experimental vaccine available to control anaplasmosis, it requires multiple injections and it has not been evaluated in published research studies.”

The objective of the study was to develop a single-dose implant vaccine platform that provides long-term immunity against anaplasmosis infections by releasing vaccine contents over an extended period.

This single-dose vaccine, which is administered in the back of the ear, has been shown to protect against clinical anaplasmosis for up to two years and could potentially help make anaplasmosis control more accessible and convenient to livestock producers, Curtis said.

“The concept of providing cattle with a single vaccine implant that could potentially provide lifelong protection against an economically devastating disease, such as bovine anaplasmosis, could revolutionize livestock production,” Coetzee said.

Iowa State University currently holds a patent for the implant platform and the K-State/Manhattan Innovation Center is exploring a partnership with Iowa State to further develop this technology.

The first step to a commercially available product would include finding a commercial partner to seek approval from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Article: Curtis, A.K., Reif, K.E., Kleinhenz, M.D., Martin, M.S., Skinner, B., Kelly, S.M., Jones, D.E., Reppert, E.J., Montgomery, S.R., Narasimhan, B., Anantatat, T., Jaberi-Douraki, M., Coetzee, J.F. Rapid Communication: Development of a subcutaneous ear implant to deliver an anaplasmosis vaccine to dairy steers. Journal of Animal Science, skz392, online 31 December 2019, doi: 10.1093/jas/skz392

[SOURCE: Kansas State University]