Anaplasmosis Continues to Beset Global Cattle Ranching Industry as Rising Costs of Feed, Medicated Minerals and Disease-Testing Adds to Burden

BATON ROUGE, La., Jan. 26, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — As costs for medicated minerals, feed, and anaplasmosis testing continues to rise, University Products LLC underscored that the price for its widely effective anaplasmosis vaccine has remained unchanged for the last seven years. University Products is the maker and distributor of the only killed bovine anaplasmosis vaccine successfully deployed for over two decades. Developed by Gene Luther, D.V.M., Ph.D., the vaccine is already used in multiple U.S. states, Puerto Rico, and abroad.

"We’ve known for decades what kind of devastating effects anaplasmosis causes for the cattle industry," said Dr. Gene Luther. "The USDA studied this issue a few years ago, calling it ‘a major obstacle to profitable beef production in the U.S.,’ while conservatively estimating that anaplasmosis epidemics cost U.S. ranchers around $400 per animal – hundreds of millions in revenue lost each year. And that cost has only increased with inflation, while hay and feed prices have also dramatically increased – over 100% in some U.S. states – due to recent drought and supply chain issues. Regular consumers are already seeing price increases at the grocery store. So a rampant anaplasmosis outbreak at this point would be devastating. And with this disease, it’s never of matter of if – but when. Anaplasmosis is a persistent annual problem."

Anaplasmosis is a blood disease carried by parasites (primarily ticks) that infects red blood cells, causing severe anemia and death. Traditional treatments for anaplasmosis have involved rigorous testing, tetracycline drugs in medicated feed, intensive supportive care including rest and close access to food and water, with blood transfusions for severe cases.

But these treatments are time-consuming, expensive, rarely cost effective, and have only varying degrees of success. Most importantly, tetracycline drugs do not eradicate the anaplasmosis organism, but instead, simply stop the disease from progressing in a single animal. So herds continue to spread the disease year after year, ensuring that rising treatment costs for ranchers becomes a regrettable seasonal fact. 

"I recently called multiple ranchers and testing facilities, just to get a read on the current situation," said Dr. Luther. "Ranchers almost universally report that costs for medicated feed – the traditional treatment for anaplasmosis – and the anaplasmosis tests themselves have risen significantly. The range is falling between $13.50 to $18 per test, per animal, with multiple testing needed throughout the season. The price for our vaccine is comparable – depending on stockyard prices, you can vaccinate a herd of 100 cattle for the same cost of losing one cow to this disease. And vaccination is far more effective over the long term than mere testing and tetracycline mitigation."

The University Products vaccine does not prevent infection, but when properly used, significantly reduces clinical signs in at-risk animals. The 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.

"Now is the time to get a handle on this problem before spring and summer arrives – before vector season," Dr. Luther said. "We can’t stress that enough."

A detailed description of the vaccine and its method of administration is publicly available for PDF download. For more information on current vaccine availability for veterinary use, contact Dr. Luther directly by email at

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PR Admin, Ag News America

SOURCE University Products LLC