Lab Canada

Funding supports testing of immunization drug to prevent shipping fever in cattle

Saskatoon, SK – A $600,000 vaccine project being funded through Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Advancing Canadian Agriculture and Agri-Food (ACAAF) program will provide Canada’s beef producers with a new drug to help protect their cattle from shipping fever.

The project, spearheaded by the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization (VIDO) at University of Saskatchewan, will test ways in which a novel immune stimulant, CpG ODN, improves the speed and level of immunization against respiratory disease when combined with a vaccine. VIDO has also discovered a manner in which vaccines can be delivered effectively without using needles. The stimulant, already in clinical trials to treat human diseases, is being tested as an additive to cattle vaccines to enhance their protection against bovine respiratory disease, commonly known as shipping fever.

“Vaccination remains the most cost-effective method of reducing animal suffering and death,” said Dr George Mutwiri of VIDO. “This is becoming even more important as antibiotic disease resistance increases. The economic impact of bovine respiratory disease is immense, and we hope that clinical trials will confirm that this will provide benefits to producers and, ultimately, consumers.”

Funding for the VIDO project is being provided through the collaboration of ten industry councils that manage the ACAAF program in their respective provinces and territories. The co-ordination and leadership for the project is provided by the Saskatchewan ACAAF industry council, the Advancing Canadian Agriculture and Agri-Food Saskatchewan (ACAAFS) Committee of the Saskatchewan Council for Community Development (SCCD).

The VIDO project’s total cost is $600,000, split ten ways between the ACAAF industry councils. The following is a breakdown of the amount of funds committed by each council:

British Columbia: BC Investment Agriculture Foundation – $30,300

Alberta: Agriculture and Food Council – $232,260

Saskatchewan: Advancing Canadian Agriculture and Agri-Food Saskatchewan (ACAAFS) Committee of the Saskatchewan Council for Community Development Inc. (SCCD) – $116,880

Manitoba: Manitoba Rural Adaptation Council – $59,340

Ontario: Agricultural Adaptation Council – $91,020

Quebec: Conseil pour le dveloppement de l’agriculture du Qubec (CDAQ) and Fonds de dveloppement de la transformation alimentaire (FDTA) – $58 140

Newfoundland and Labrador: Newfoundland and Labrador Agri-Adapt Council Inc. – $360

New Brunswick: New Brunswick Agriculture Council Inc./Conseil agricole du Nouveau-Brunswick Inc. – $3,780

Nova Scotia: Agri-Futures Nova Scotia – $4,380

Prince Edward Island: PEI ADAPT Council (Adaptation Development Agricultural Production Technology Council) – $3,540.