Alpharma: New Webinar Explains Anaplasmosis Risks, Management Strategies

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Alpharma Animal Health has launched an online webinar that discusses the current status of anaplasmosis in cattle in the U.S. The webinar is based on an expert panel that convened in late 2009 featuring Dr. Hans Coetzee and Dr. Denny Hausmann, experts with extensive experience managing the disease and incorporating new strategies for diagnosis and control. The webinar provides a continued education credit hour for veterinarians, and producers and other cattle industry stakeholders also are encouraged to participate.

Anaplasmosis is a tick-borne disease that causes loss of production and abortion in beef cattle and significant decreases in milk production in dairy cattle. Each individual case of anaplasmosis is estimated to cost about $400 per animal, and the total cost to the industry is estimated to be above $300 million in the U.S.
While producers in the Southern U.S. – where anaplasmosis is considered endemic – may be familiar with the disease, the USDA’s most recent cow-calf survey (USDA-NAHMS Beef Study1) reports that, overall:

•Only 16% of producers are “fairly knowledgeable” about anaplasmosis
•13.7% know some basics
•22.7% recognized the name, but not much else; and
•47% had not heard of anaplasmosis before

Awareness and understanding of anaplasmosis is becoming increasingly important as the disease is now appearing well beyond the areas that historically have been considered endemic; anaplasmosis now has been diagnosed in all of the contiguous 48 states.

"The emergence of new molecular-based technologies have revealed that anaplasmosis is a much more complicated and multi-faceted disease than many veterinarians and producers may have thought,” said Dr. Coetzee, BVSc, Cert. CHP, Ph.D., MRCVS, Kansas State University. “In addition, there have been significant realizations regarding the type of tests used to diagnose the disease. More accurate tests are revealing that the disease is more widespread than previously realized.”

Historically a complement fixation (CF) test has been used by an estimated 70-80% of vets/producers to test for anaplasmosis. Recent research, however, has found that the CF test is only about 40% accurate, and some experts recommend the use of a competitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (C-ELISA) test, which is more sensitive and therefore, more accurate.

“We want to make sure veterinarians and cattle producers are aware of the disease and how it may affect their herds,” added Coetzee.

The educational webinar, entitled, “Anaplasmosis: Update on Diagnostic, Control and Treatment Approaches for Improved Disease Management,” is easily accessible from the lower right-hand corner of the Alpharma website homepage (www.alpharma.com) or at http://alpharmawebinar.vetlearn.com/. Topics include disease prevalence, etiology, and epidemiology; disease phases and clinical progression; diagnostic rationale, tools and procedures; and strategies for intervention and control.



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