Texas Agriculture February 19, 2016 : Page 7

New vaccine targets cattle fever ticks in Texas The cattle fever tick, and the dis-ease it carries, has the capability to cripple the Texas cattle industry, if not contained. But there’s a new weapon avail-able to help ranchers battle the threat. A vaccine has been developed and approved for use to combat the infes-tation. “It works like any other vaccine. When you vaccinate the animals, they develop antibodies in their bloodstream,” said Dr. Brodie Miller, Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC) Region 5 director. “When a tick gets on that animal and it feeds, it ingests some of those antibodies.” That particular antibody matches up with a protein that’s in the gut of the fever tick. Those combine and form a complex. “It basically clogs up the tick and it’s unable to feed and dies,” Miller said. There are two species of cattle fe-ver ticks— Rhipicephalus annulatus and R. microplus . “The vaccine is almost 100 per-cent effective on annulatus. That’s very promising for the area of Lar-edo north,” Miller said. “From Laredo south, it has about a 70 percent ef-fi cacy against microplus.” The vaccine, which will be avail-able this spring, must be adminis-tered by regulatory personnel, such as U.S. Department of Agriculture or TAHC offi cials, in conjunction with a herd inspection. “The standard protocol is to give an initial dose and come back three to four weeks later and administer a booster like you would any vaccine,” Miller said. Although the vaccine is only ap-proved for use in cattle, the ticks also attach to horses, white-tailed deer and exotic hoofstock like nilgai antelope and red deer. The wildlife population is an ever-growing challenge in the battle Texas ranchers and offi cials are waging against the tick infestation. “We are always looking for novel, innovative ways to eradicate the cattle fever tick and the vaccine is evidence of that,” he said. “But the increasing presence and density of wildlife hosts for cattle fever ticks are more diffi -cult to treat systematically than do-mestic livestock. Just in South Texas in general in the last 20 years, there has been a signifi cant increase in the density of white-tailed deer and nilgai antelope.” With limited hunting pressure and no natural predators, nilgai lack population control. And less intense regulations for treating cattle south of the border add more diffi culty to the eradication efforts. But regulatory offi cials will contin-ue to push forward, fi ghting to protect the state’s growing cow herd. Green joins TFB Public Relations staff Justin Green joined Texas Farm Bureau’s (TFB) Public Relations division as the staff writer this month. He contributes con-tent for Texas Agricul-ture, Texas Neighbors and Texas Agriculture Daily . Green attended Tar-leton State University and earned a bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Communications and Justin a master’s degree in Agricultural and Consumer Re-sources before joining Texas Farm Bureau. While at Tarleton, Green held many positions—staff writer, edi-tor and graduate as-sistant—in the Offi ce of Student Publica-tions. He provided con-tent and photos for the publication, hosted multiple YouTube se-ries and promoted the offi ce. The Bridgeport native was actively involved in 4-H and Green FFA, showing cattle, pigs and chickens and competing on the Consumer Decision Making team. BURN SAFELY with the Stai less Steel BurnCage ™ F EBRUARY 19, 2016 Follow us on PERFECT FOR: • Sensitive fi nancial documents • All burnable household waste * • Old leaves and branches 90152X © 2016 www.twitter.com/texasfarmbureau STAINLESS STEEL CONSTRUCTION is lightweight, durable, and portable (it folds for easy storage). PERFORATED LID and sidewalls maximize airfl ow and trap embers. 1600° TEMPERATURES mean more thorough burning with less ash. and No more UNSAFE and UNSIGHTLY usty barrel! 2 SIZES! * Always check local ordinances before burning. Call Today for FREE Information Kit, Pricing and Factory Direct Coupon! TOLL FREE 877-202-1288 BurnCage.com 7 www.facebook.com/texasfarmbureau

New Vaccine Targets Cattle Fever Ticks in Texas

The cattle fever tick, and the disease it carries, has the capability to cripple the Texas cattle industry, if not contained.

But there’s a new weapon available to help ranchers battle the threat.

A vaccine has been developed and approved for use to combat the infestation.

“It works like any other vaccine. When you vaccinate the animals, they develop antibodies in their bloodstream,” said Dr. Brodie Miller, Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC) Region 5 director. “When a tick gets on that animal and it feeds, it ingests some of those antibodies.”

That particular antibody matches up with a protein that’s in the gut of the fever tick. Those combine and form a complex.

“It basically clogs up the tick and it’s unable to feed and dies,” Miller said.

There are two species of cattle fever ticks—Rhipicephalus annulatus and R. microplus .

“The vaccine is almost 100 percent effective on annulatus. That’s very promising for the area of Laredo north,” Miller said. “From Laredo south, it has about a 70 percent efficacy against microplus.”

The vaccine, which will be available this spring, must be administered by regulatory personnel, such as U.S. Department of Agriculture or TAHC officials, in conjunction with a herd inspection.

“The standard protocol is to give an initial dose and come back three to four weeks later and administer a booster like you would any vaccine,” Miller said.

Although the vaccine is only approved for use in cattle, the ticks also attach to horses, white-tailed deer and exotic hoofstock like nilgai antelope and red deer.

The wildlife population is an evergrowing challenge in the battle Texas ranchers and officials are waging against the tick infestation.

“We are always looking for novel, innovative ways to eradicate the cattle fever tick and the vaccine is evidence of that,” he said. “But the increasing presence and density of wildlife hosts for cattle fever ticks are more difficult to treat systematically than domestic livestock. Just in South Texas in general in the last 20 years, there has been a significant increase in the density of white-tailed deer and nilgai antelope.”

With limited hunting pressure and no natural predators, nilgai lack population control. And less intense regulations for treating cattle south of the border add more difficulty to the eradication efforts.

But regulatory officials will continue to push forward, fighting to protect the state’s growing cow herd.

Read the full article at http://texasagriculture.texasfarmbureau.org/article/New+Vaccine+Targets+Cattle+Fever+Ticks+in+Texas/2414115/292583/article.html.

Green Joins TFB Public Relations Staff

Justin Green joined Texas Farm Bureau’s (TFB) Public Relations division as the staff writer this month.

He contributes content for Texas Agriculture, Texas Neighbors and Texas Agriculture Daily .

Green attended Tarleton State University and earned a bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Communications and a master’s degree in Agricultural and Consumer Resources before joining Texas Farm Bureau.

While at Tarleton, Green held many positions—staff writer, editor and graduate assistant—in the Office of Student Publications. He provided content and photos for the publication, hosted multiple YouTube series and promoted the office.

The Bridgeport native was actively involved in 4-H and FFA, showing cattle, pigs and chickens and competing on the Consumer Decision Making team.

Read the full article at http://texasagriculture.texasfarmbureau.org/article/Green+Joins+TFB+Public+Relations+Staff/2414118/292583/article.html.

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