Researchers with the University of Manitoba are preparing a study to compare the effectiveness of vaccines administered to beef cattle using conventional needles and syringes to those administered using needle-free injection.

Researchers with the National Centre for Livestock and the Environment expect to begin a one-year study this coming spring which will examine the effectiveness of needle-free injection.

Dr. Kim Ominski, an associate professor with the University of Manitoba’s Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences and a researcher with NCLE, says scientists will examine the ability of the animal, as a consequence of the method of delivering the vaccine, to mount an immune response.

Dr. Kim Ominski-University of Manitoba:

“Typically, antibiotics and vaccines are administered to cattle using a conventional needled injection system where whatever the product is that is you’re delivering goes through the needle and into the animal.

In a needle-free injection system what it does is it actually delivers the product transdermally and the products that we traditionally deliver to cattle are products like either antibiotics to treat disease or vaccines to help prevent disease.

The benefits that we will be looking at include things like the potential for elimination of broken needles which can happen in a needle injection system, and just looking at the potential for lower vaccine volume and greater antibody response as a consequence of using this transdermal technique.

Sometimes when we inject cattle with a needle we can get injection site lesions at the site of injection and it’s also been suggested that there may be the possible benefit of also not transferring disease from one animal to another.”

The work will be conducted on a commercial cow-calf operation which has cattle calving in both spring and fall.

Dr. Ominski says researchers will look at two different vaccine products and whether the immune response differs when using needle-free or conventional injection, based on location of vaccination and on temperature, whether administered during spring or summer.

For UniversityNews.Org, I’m Bruce Cochrane.

*This post first appeared in the November 22, 2010 edition of University News, a presentation of the University of Manitoba’s Faculty of Agricultural & Food Sciences, to learn more click here.

University News is a presentation of the University of Manitoba’s Faculty of Agricultural & Food Sciences