Researchers at the Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine, in collaboration with Iowa State University, have developed a new vaccine delivery platform to produce long-lasting protection against anaplasmosis infections.

Bovine anaplasmosis, caused by the blood-borne parasite Anaplasma marginale, is the most prevalent tick-transmitted disease of cattle worldwide and causes significant disease loss to beef producers in the United States.

The current strategy to combat the disease is to “provide mineral or feed containing the antibiotic chlortetracycline to cattle on pasture,” said Andre Curtis, doctoral research assistant in the laboratory of Hans Coetzee, professor and head of the anatomology department.

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

The new 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.

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