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Two Vaccines Approved for Leptospira Hardjo-Bovis

Vaccination is better than treatment for this widespread disease in cow-calf operations.

USDA has approved Titanium 5 L5 and Master Guard 10 vaccines as an aid in preventing disease caused by Leptospira borgpetersenii hardjo-bovis in beef and dairy cattle.

Leptospira, which often infect calves at a young age and easily spread within herds, ultimately can cause reproductive failure and significant economic loss.

Researchers have estimated 42% of cow-calf operations have cattle with L. hardjo-bovis. Once cattle have L. hardjo, which colonizes in the kidneys and reproductive tract, they can shed the organism in urine, placental fluids, milk and other infected fluids for weeks to months after infection, readily exposing herdmates.

“What’s particularly challenging about leptospirosis is that it is so difficult to diagnose, since the signs often are mild or similar to other health problems,” says Charlie Higdon, AgriLabs business unit manager. “Infertility is the most significant symptom. Additional signs can include decreased reproduction efficiency and milk production, abortions, stillbirths and calves that are weak. Herds rarely experience a rash of abortions to signal an L. hardjo problem, even when the disease is widespread.”

Further, since a combination of tests is needed to obtain the sensitivity and specificity for an accurate diagnosis, controlling disease caused by L. hardjo-bovis through vaccination is an important consideration for both dairy and beef operations.Now producers can vaccinate cattle that are not pregnant or nursing with Titanium 5 L5, and all cattle 5 months of age or older with Master Guard 10, to protect against this costly organism.

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