The Impact of Leptospira hardjo-bovis Can Linger

Pregnancy loss followed by infertility can impact production over a long period of time.

St. Joseph, Missouri, June 3, 2011—The U.S. cattle industry has not seen significant changes in the clinical syndrome caused by Leptospira hardjo-bovis (LHB); yet, the disease continues to burden cow/calf producers with reproduction implications that can become costly and widespread within the herd.

Acute LHB infection may cause sudden temperature spikes, anorexia and lethargy. But, these symptoms can go unnoticed, and often the only indication of infection is a repeat breeder. Once the embryo is lost, LHB causes infertility and delayed breeding. This makes the disease especially economically damaging for cow/calf operators, who struggle to get cows pregnant due to the reduced fertility caused by the disease.

“When left unvaccinated, cattle are vulnerable to hardjo-bovis infection when given access to streams and stagnant water, or pastures and facilities are exposed to raccoons, opossum or rodents,” says Joe Campbell, Senior Professional Services Veterinarian, Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc. “With exposure risk factors as common as standing water or raccoons in pastures, it’s important to vaccinate cattle with a vaccine that includes protection for all strains of leptospires that affect cattle.”

Once cattle become infected with LHB, they are considered “maintenance hosts” and can spread LHB among the herd through urinary shedding. A single infected animal can shed the virus in its urine for long periods of time, and is a major source of infection for other animals.

The Express® FP family of vaccines is one of the most complete modified-live product lines on the market. It protects your cowherd against major reproductive and respiratory diseases, including urinary shedding of Lepto hardjo-bovis and persistently infected calves caused by BVD Types 1 and 2. Express FP also aids in the reduction of infertility, abortion and delayed conception caused by Campylobacter fetus var. venerealis, and leptospirosis caused by five serovars of Leptospira.

“Express FP was the first modified-live viral vaccine to offer a written guarantee that calves born to a dam properly vaccinated with Express FP would be free of BVD-persistent infection. This vaccine was created with your herd’s health in mind, protecting your cows against all major reproductive and respiratory diseases,” Campbell says. “The efficacy of Express FP vaccines has always been our top priority, and we will continue to offer that guarantee on our product.”

Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc. (St. Joseph, Mo.), is a subsidiary of Boehringer Ingelheim Corporation, based in Ridgefield, Conn., and a member of the Boehringer Ingelheim group of companies.

The Boehringer Ingelheim group is one of the world’s 20 leading pharmaceutical companies. Headquartered in Ingelheim, Germany, it operates globally with 145 affiliates and more than 42,000 employees. Since it was founded in 1885, the family-owned company has been committed to researching, developing, manufacturing and marketing novel products of high therapeutic value for human and veterinary medicine.

For Boehringer Ingelheim — and its employees — carrying a good share of social responsibility is an important component in its business culture. Both global commitments in social projects and properly caring for all its employees are included. Respect, equal opportunity and the balance of career and family life form the basis for mutual cooperation. And, environmental protection and sustainability are always the main focus during any of Boehringer Ingelheim’s undertakings.

In 2010, Boehringer Ingelheim posted net sales of approximately $16.7 billion (about 12.6 billion euro) while spending almost 24 percent of net sales in its largest business segment, Prescription Medicines, on research and development.

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