If you’re struggling with a high incidence of lameness in young cows in your herd, you may be trying to fix problems that started before those cows even entered the milking string, according to Nigel Cook, MRCVS, Professor in the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Cook told the audience at the recent, virtual Four-State Dairy Nutrition and Management Conference, that at least two of the “famous five” causes of lameness – foot rot, digital dermatitis (DD), sole ulcers, white line lesions and toe lesions – can have their origins in the heifer lot.
Two Madison-based companies are developing nasal spray vaccines against the coronavirus.
FluGen, based on research by UW-Madison scientists Yoshihiro Kawaoka and Gabriele Neumann, is adapting its experimental flu vaccine to target COVID-19 and flu. The candidate, CoroFlu, is being developed with Bharat Biotech, in Hyderabad, India, and could enter a human trial in India by September, said FluGen CEO Paul Radspinner.
Pan Genome Systems is developing a human COVID-19 vaccine adapted from an experimental immunization for another coronavirus that infects chickens. The human candidate is in mouse studies, said Adel Talaat, a UW-Madison microbiology professor and founder of the company.
"We're exactly envisioning this as a solution for schools or workplaces where you want to screen people for the potential that they are contagious," said Professor Thomas Friedrich. Friedrich says models show people should be tested twice a week to have the best chance to detect COVID-19 while they're still contagious, but before they develop symptoms. "The rapid nature of this test will allow us to test people more frequently," he said.
Colleges and universities across the U.S. and Canada are finalizing plans for the fall semester as they weigh slashed budgets, student financial burdens and safety against the need to maintain a high-quality education during the coronavirus pandemic. The VIN News Service contacted the 37 veterinary schools in both countries to ask what the fall semester will look like and how budgets and tuition will be affected. Thirty-four responded.
Without data to measure the effect of different educational methods on the spread of the virus, the U.S. will soon embark on what amounts to “uncontrolled experiments,” said Tony Goldberg, a professor of epidemiology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
UW virologist and influenza expert Yoshihiro Kawaoka said that although he is confident COVID-19 will become endemic, he believes the lifestyle changes people have made should not become permanent. “Once everyone gets vaccinated we should be able to go back to normal life,” he said, predicting that day might come “in three years, maybe four years.”
As the brutal Northern winter melts away and Wisconsinites are freed from their homes to hike the timberland forests, Dr. Lyric Bartholomay can be found spending her spring and summer a bit differently than most. As a medical entomologist at the University of Wisconsin, she spends warmer months tracking, recording, and studying the mosquitoes and ticks that cross our paths during time spent outdoors. Mosquitoes and ticks are more than just skeevy nuisances. They can carry and transmit to humans a variety of bacteria and viruses. Knowing which vector species are present, how prevalent they are, and which bacteria and viruses they are carrying is paramount to informing the public of their risk for mosquito and tickborne illnesses.
Dr. Mark Markel, dean of the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine, said he has always been passionate about diversity, inclusion, and equity. However, he realized last year his institution needed to hire a dedicated person. Richard Barajas will start in September as the UW veterinary school’s diversity and inclusion manager. In addition, Dr. Markel said he is having conversations with students who are Black, Indigenous, and from other underrepresented racial and ethnic groups to understand how to better serve them.
Tony Goldberg, a professor of Pathobiological Sciences at UW-Madison, studies these diseases. He says when they first make the jump to humans there are typically no immunities against them and the diseases go unchecked. “It's like the early stages of a wildfire. When there's all the fuel you can imagine to consume and you can just go unchecked. So we are still globally in the initial upward swing of that epidemic curve of the initial onslaught,” Goldberg said.
“If this isn’t the wake-up call, nothing is going to be,” says Tony Goldberg, an infectious-disease ecologist and professor of epidemiology at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.