Researchers at Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine say they have discovered a vaccine that prevents the infection of Johne’s disease, a condition blamed for financial losses totaling $220 million to $250 million annually in the U.S. dairy community.
Until now, the only way to prevent the disease was to identify and cull infected animals, then make management changes to prevent its spread.
“Johne’s disease is one of the most important infectious diseases that threaten farmers,” said Yung-Fu Chang, DVM, Ph.D., professor of microbiology and the principal investigator. “Equally important, though, this organism has been suspected to be one of several possible contributing agents to Crohn’s disease that has similar pathologic lesions in people. The results of our research may offer useful information to those working with Crohn’s disease.”
The research was funded by grants from the Biotechnology Research and Development Corp., which holds the product license, and by a contract through a cooperative agreement between the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
The findings will be published in the January issue of Vaccine.