Researchers at the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization (VIDO) are working on developing a single-shot vaccine that will provide broader protection against foot rot in beef and dairy cattle. 

Foot rot is a hoof infection that can be transmitted to other animals, and is considered to be one of the most frequent infectious diseases found in beef cattle. 

Dr. Jose Perez-Casal is leading VIDO's project team in their effort to develop a single-dose multivalent vaccine.

"So that will save substantial dollars to the producers and also with long-term immunity. So that you give it once and maybe for three or four months, you don't have to worry about it."

He says the current vaccine is based on only one of four common bacteria that causes foot rot.

"Our approach is to take fresh lesions and then isolate the bacteria that are there. And produce a vaccine that contains not only antigens for the same bacteria that is in the current vaccine, but also antigens for the other bacteria that are not in the current vaccine."

The vaccine will include Fusobacteriu necrophorum which was isolated from feedlots in Saskatchewan and Alberta along with antigens of other pathogens associated with foot rot.

This is the first year of a three year project, and at the end they hope to have a vaccine that will not only provide protection but long-term immunity.

He points out it could be anywhere from five to ten years before the vaccine would be available to producers.

They'll have to go thru the evaluation and development in the lab, then field trials and CFIA regulatory approvals before its available for use.

VIDO has a new vaccine manufacturing centre that should be certified in the next few months, which will help because they can make the vaccine at least for the initial stage right there.

The Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization is located at the University of Saskatchewan.