Management-Associated Risk Factors and Economic Impact of Anaplasmosis in Illinois Beef Herds

Project Overview

Project Type: Partnership
Funds awarded in 2019: $39,955.00
Projected End Date: 03/31/2022
Grant Recipient: University of Illinois
Region: North Central
State: Illinois
Project Coordinator:
Dr. Teresa Steckler
University of Illinois


Not commodity specific


  • Animal Production: animal protection and health, preventive practices
  • Education and Training: on-farm/ranch research, participatory research

    Proposal abstract:

    The goal of our research is to enhance the health, welfare, and sustainability of beef production by identifying cost effective strategies to control anaplasmosis.

    We hypothesize that:

    • herd management practices affect the distribution of anplasmosis in Illinois, and
    • anaplasmosis has a substantial negative economic impact on Illinois beef producers.

    Anaplasmosis (A. marginale in the U.S.) is the most prevalent tickborne disease of cattle worldwide. Clinical cases experience weight loss, anemia, reduced milk production, abortions, and death.  The US cost of clinical anaplasmosis was estimated at $400 per animal with annual beef industry losses of $300 million.  A. marginale is transmitted via ticks, biting flies, needles, dehorning and tattooing.  Subclinical immune system impairment may also increase disease susceptibility and reduce productivity. 

    This field-based study partners with 4 Illinois beef producers to prospectively collect real-world management, disease and production data on uninfected, subclinical, and clinically infected cows and calves. Statistical analysis of management and production data will be used to identify risk factors for disease transmission and the role of anaplasmosis on animal productivity and health.  Results will be disseminated to industry stakeholders through extension outreach and publications, providing information to conduct herd specific cost-benefit analysis of anaplasmosis prevention and control programs.

    Project objectives from proposal:

    Research Project Objectives:

    • Determine the economic impact of anaplasmosis in Illinois beef herds
    • Identify management practices associated increased risk of anaplasmosis
    • Identify cost effective strategies to reduce the economic impact of anaplasmosis

    Education Component Objectives:

    Outreach to stakeholders will increase adoption of herd-specific, economically sustainable disease prevention and control measures including:

    • Cull positive animals
    • Maintain a closed herd
    • Purchase replacements from negative herds
    • Increase insect vector control
    • Targeting of  antimicrobial preventives during high risk seasons
    • Vaccination
    • Changing needles and palpation sleeves between animals
    • Sanitizing contaminated equipment between animals
    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.