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Field Testing of a Foothill Abortion Candidate Vaccine in Cattle - 1002

Principle Investigator: Dr. Jeff Stott, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California Davis, for more project information click here 

Epizootic bovine abortion (EBA), also referred to as foothill abortion, has been a persistent problem affecting cattle pastured on foothill, semi-arid and mountainous ranges in the Western United States. This project will determine the safety and efficacy of an aoEBA candidate vaccine (aoEBA-infected murine spleens cells) under field conditions by closely following animals repeatedly post-vaccination for evidence of systematic or local injection-site reactions and by comparing conception rates and calving success in vaccinated pregnant heifers as compared to age-matched control heifers. A number of factors make SFREC ideal for performing this study: (a) foothill abortion is endemic due to the presence of the tick vector, O. coriaceus (b) the breeding herd is closed and well managed, limiting exposure to pathogens that would otherwise compromise the quality of the data (c) management and breeding practices already in place at this facility are in harmony with the data needed to appropriately follow all aspects of vaccine safety and efficacy (including but not limited to monitoring of conception rates, close monitoring of aborting and calving heifers) (d) investigators have access to the animals for repeated observations of vaccine injection sites over a period of several months (e) access to exceptional veterinary care (f) available expertise from a variety of faculty and (g) proximity to UC-Davis, thus minimizing costs associated with gathering USDA required data and collection of aborted fetuses for diagnostic testing.