Media Coverage

KSU gains patent for cattle vaccine tech against liver infections


Apr 05, 2018 - Animal Pharm
By Sian Lazell 
Animal Pharm
April 5, 2018


Kansas State University (KSU) researchers have been granted a patent covering non-antibiotic vaccine technology for cattle health. 

The 20-year patent has been issued to researchers at KSU's College of Veterinary Medicine for a non-antibiotic treatment of beef cattle liver infections.

The research 'Composition and Methods for Detecting, Treating and Protecting Against Fusobacterium Infection' focuses on vaccine-based technology that bypasses antibiotics and the threat of drug resistance when treating cattle and sheep for liver abscesses caused by Fusobacterium. KSU explained liver infections are a significant problem for the feedlot industry.

This latest work from KSU builds on a previous patent gained for a novel approach to preventing fusobacterial infections. The original patent covers the use of the researchers' invention within expression systems, adjuvants, injectable solutions, oral compounds and vaccines.

TG Nagaraja, professor of microbiology at the university and a lead researcher on the project, said: "We have identified a protein and learned the mechanisms of how the protein attaches to cells, so we created compositions and methods to use the protein to prevent the attachment of Fusobacterium to the cells in the rumen – the first compartment of a cow stomach – and liver. If bacteria do not attach to cells, they are highly unlikely to cause infection."

MM Chengappa, also a professor of microbiology at KSU and lead researcher, explained the new patent "broadens the scope of how the invention can be utilized."

Mike Apley, Frick professor of clinical sciences at KSU, commented: "Alternative methods to antibiotics for prevention, control and treatment of disease in animals are of great value as we move into a time of increased focus on antibiotic stewardship. This focus is apparent in regulatory, legislative and consumer attention given to antibiotic use in food animals. Effective vaccines for common diseases are especially valuable in our prevention and control protocols."

KSU highlighted a recent study by West Texas A&M University which found liver abscesses cost the US beef industry $56 million annually. In light of new regulations for using antibiotics in livestock, treatment options for such infections and other diseases in cattle have been affected.


Reprinted with permission of Animal Pharm News

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