Brucellosis Vaccine Research Starts at UW

Laramie, WY – New research at the University of Wyoming could develop a new, more effective brucellosis vaccine for cattle and elk. There are currently two vaccines used to guard against brucellosis, but neither is all that effective. UW Veterinary Sciences Professor Gerry Andrews says those vaccines are weakened versions of the brucellosis bacterium. Andrews says their approach will be different because they will not use the whole organism. Instead they will search, at the genetic level, for the sub-units of brucellosis that can trigger immunity. A second research project is an effort to quickly determine if elk have been exposed to brucellosis. The test being developed could be used in the field, instead of having to bring samples back to the lab for testing. That would give answers in minutes, instead of days. The two projects are expected to take at least three years.