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Government to fund respiratory disease research in cattle
Blacksburg, Va. - 4/7/08 - The role biofilm plays in the development of Bovine Respiratory Disease Complex (BRDC) will be studied, with the help of government funding, by a Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicince professor.
Blacksburg, Va. - 4/7/08 - The role biofilm plays in the development of Bovine Respiratory Disease Complex (BRDC) will be studied, with the help of government funding, by a Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine professor.
Awarded by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the $374,00 grant will be used by Dr. Thomas Inzana, professor of bacteriology in the Department of Biomedical Sciences and Pathobiology, and his investigative team of Drs. Indra Sandal and William Scarratt, to evaluate how biofilm impacts the virulence of Histophilus somni (H. somni), a bacteria responsible for BRDC.
"If we can understand the protective or disease-enhancing effect a biofilm provides to H. somni then we can develop more successful and efficacious vaccines for this and other biofilm diseases," Inzana says.
Accounting for more than 60 percent of all feedlot cattle deaths, BRDC continues to cause major financial loses for bovine producers, despite continued research.
Biofilm can be especially resistant to antibiotics, as the bacteria are enclosed in a protective casing. H. somni naturally occurs in bovine in biofilm form, and if left untreated can spread to an animal's respiratory tract and the brain.
"Our goal is to understand the molecular basis for biofilm formation and to identify ways to prevent or treat the biofilm," Inzana says.