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Texas A&M developing first oral vaccine for Anthrax

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Ashley Ward is a Content and Event Coordinator based in Canada. She has been involved in the events industry for numerous years and contributed to community publications in Canada. As part of the planning team for Veterinary Practice News’ veterinary conferences, Ashley is looking forward to supporting the industry with career development at the upcoming VetCE Seattle conference this November. She also helps with content on NextGen.

Texas A&M University’s College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences (CVMBS) has found a way to distribute a vaccine for Anthrax orally to wildlife and livestock.

In 2019, the infection spiked in cases of livestock and wildlife in western Texas, which may have been responsible for the loss of 10,000 animals according to Dr. Jamie Benn Felix, a postdoctoral research associate at the Cook Wildlife Lab, led by CVMBS’ Department of Veterinary Pathobiology’s (VTPB) Dr. Walt Cook.

“If you assume the economic value for each animal was $1,000, which is extremely low given the number of exotic species on some of the ranches, you’re looking at an economic loss of $10 million in just a few months,” said Dr. Felix.

“And given the problems reporting cases, it could be significantly higher than that.”

This new oral vaccine will be placed in bait so that animals can easily consume it.

Dr. Felix and her team of researchers are continuing to look into more data from the animals and their handlers to determine how much damage is being done by Anthrax.

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