Principal Investigator: John Angelos, University of California, Davis
Cattle industries throughout California and the USA are negatively impacted by IBK through reduced weight gain and high treatment costs. California’s natural and organic beef industries continue to grow and a focus on disease prevention is increasingly important because marketability of antibiotic-treated animals for these segments of the beef industry is reduced. In addition, the individual animal pain and suffering caused by IBK makes control of this disease important for cattle health and welfare. Currently commercially available IBK vaccines are ineffective against diverse strains of M. bovis and the California Cattleman's Association has continued to urge UC Davis to develop a more functional vaccine against IBK. If the vaccine that we propose to test is effective it has potential to benefit cattle industries throughout California and the USA. SFREC is an ideal location at which to conduct this study because it possesses all of the needed facilities for safe cattle handling and weekly animal observations. In addition, the SFREC site exposes cattle to all of the natural risk factors known to be associated with IBK including exposure to ultraviolet radiation, flies, dust, and plant awns. SFREC therefore will provide a rigorous and realistic test of the ability of the experimental vaccine to prevent naturally occurring IBK.