story to find out more.
Bison at the National Animal Disease Center in
Ames, Iowa, are helping scientists find better ways to immunize wildlife
against disease. Click the image for more information about it.
Scientists "Go Ballistic"Against
Brucellosis By Luis Pons June 5,
Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists in Ames, Iowa, have been
shooting at bison.
No, they're not trying to harm the animals. Instead, they're trying to
protect themas well as livestockagainst a dangerous and costly
disease, by firing vaccine-filled projectiles at close range into the bisons'
muscle tissues. The activity is part of testing ballistic approaches to
vaccinating wildlife against brucellosis, an infectious disease of both animals
Veterinary medical officer
Olsen of the ARS National Animal Disease Center (NADC)
in Ames, with colleagues at Colorado
State University in Fort Collins, are seeking better ways to remotely
inject free-ranging bison with RB51, the most effective vaccine available
against brucellosis in cattle.
Brucellosis is a bacterial infection that in animals induces
abortions, decreases fertility and reduces milk production. The bacteria can
also be transmitted to humansthrough contact with infected animals or
consumption of unpasteurized dairy productsand cause undulant fever, an
affliction characterized by severe flulike symptoms.
Brucellosis has been nearly eradicated in this country, mostly through
cooperative federal and state programs begun in 1934. But outbreaks among
wildlife have concerned cattle producers because cattle can get the disease
through close contact with infected animals.
In this latest work, the scientists tested a new version of a
biodegradable projectile developed by Solidtech Animal Health Inc., of
They also developed a new way of preparing the vaccine pellet. With
this new methoddeveloped at Colorado State and tested at NADCRB51
is placed into a gel rather than into a compressed pellet. According to Olsen,
the gel protects the live bacteria in the vaccine.
This work was described earlier this year in the publication Vaccine.
about this research in the June 2006 issue of Agricultural Research
ARS is the U.S. Department of
Agriculture's chief scientific research agency.