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Vaccine Investigators Use Bacterium's Own Protein Against It

A team of Agricultural Research Service (ARS) and university scientists is investigating a new “ingredient” for use in vaccinating cattle against Johne’s disease, a chronic wasting affliction that costs the U.S. dairy industry more than $200 million per year.

The ingredient in question is a type of protein on the surface of the bacterium Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis (MAP), which causes Johne’s disease.

The researchers found that the protein, dubbed 35 kDa membrane peptide, helps the bacterium invade epithelial cells lining the cow's small intestine, thickening it and blocking the uptake of nutrients from feed or forage. This can lead to diarrhea, weight loss, diminished milk production and sometimes death. Calves are especially vulnerable and if their mothers are infected, they can acquire the bacterium from...

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Jun 21 2:55 PM, General News



Antibiotic Alternative Scores Well in Second Round of Swine Trials

Travelling can be stressful experience—whether it be to a vacation spot or business destination. The stress of travel also extends to piglets, such as when they’re weaned from their mothers and transported to nursery barns.

Now, instead of using dietary antibiotics to help the piglets cope and avoid illness, scientists with the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) are investigating a naturally occurring amino acid known as L-glutamine.

Initial laboratory studies in 2017 showed glutamine-fed piglets gained just as much weight as antibiotic-treated ones, among other health benefits. But the researchers, led by ARS animal scientist Jay Johnson, wanted to try and...

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May 29 2:07 PM, General News




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