Lack Of Awareness Of Anaplasmosis Risk

US - 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.
calendar icon 7 April 2010
clock icon 2 minute read

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 US.

While producers in the Southern US – 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 per cent of producers are “fairly knowledgeable” about anaplasmosis;
  • 13.7 per cent know some basics;
  • 22.7 per cent recognised the name, but not much else; and
  • 47 per cent 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 has now been diagnosed in all of the contiguous 48 states, according to Alpharma Animal Health.

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.

In addition, there have been significant realisations regarding the type of tests used to diagnose the disease. Historically a complement fixation (CF) test has been used by an estimated 70-80 per cent of vets/producers to test for anaplasmosis. Recent research, however, has found that the CF test is only about 40 per cent 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.

This spring, Alpharma Animal Health ( will offer an online webinar that discusses the current status of anaplasmosis in the US. 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.

For more information or to be notified when the webinar goes live, contact Ryan Dunn, Marketing Manager: US Cattle Products, Alpharma Animal Health at (908) 429-6000, Ext. 58625, or [email protected].

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