Tag Archives: veterinary medicine

Looking for clues about disease affecting cattle and people

A Virginia Tech researcher is hoping to better understand a bacterium responsible for both spontaneous abortions in cattle and an inconsistent and sometimes fatal fever in humans.

Clay Caswell (left), assistant professor of bacteriology, seeks to better understand brucellosis with Ph.D. students James Budnick and Lauren Sheehan.

Clay Caswell (left), assistant professor of bacteriology, seeks to better understand brucellosis with Ph.D. students James Budnick and Lauren Sheehan.

Clay Caswell, assistant professor of bacteriology at the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine and an affiliate of the Fralin Life Science Institute, has focused his attention on Brucella. While his colleagues at the veterinary college have spent years developing more-effective vaccines, Caswell is taking a different approach to better understand the molecular basis for Brucella infection.

Brucella lives inside a host immune cell called a ‘macrophage,’ “ said Caswell, who is studying how two small regulatory RNAs allow the bacterium to survive there. “The paradox is that it’s living inside the very cell that’s trying to destroy it.”

Caswell has received funding from the Virginia Agricultural Experiment Station to characterize a novel genetic pathway linked to the bacterium’s virulence. He has also been awarded recent grants from the American Heart Association and the National Institutes of Health to develop the basic science needed to develop treatments in humans who are exposed through unpasteurized milk and other means.

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Virginia Tech Beef Cattle Health Conference set for Jan. 28

Last year’s Beef Cattle Health Conference set an attendance record with more than 300 cattle producers and students participating in lectures and demonstrations.

Last year’s Beef Cattle Health Conference set an attendance record with more than 300 cattle producers and students participating in lectures and demonstrations.

The Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine, Virginia Cooperative Extension, and Farm Credit are hosting the Virginia Tech Beef Cattle Health Conference on Jan. 28 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Designed to give beef cattle producers an opportunity to learn strategies to improve the health of their herds, the conference will take place in the auditorium at Virginia Tech’s Litton-Reaves Hall, located at 175 West Campus Drive.

The conference will open with presentations from three faculty members in the veterinary college’s Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences.

John Currin, clinical associate professor of production management medicine, will speak about the Veterinary Feed Directive, a new Food and Drug Administration approval process for the use of antibiotics in animal feed. Sierra Guynn, clinical assistant professor, will give presentations on pinkeye and fly control.

Following a morning break, the conference will feature special guest Andrew Griffith, assistant professor of agricultural and resource economics at the University of Tennessee, who will discuss the economic outlook for the beef cattle industry. Morgan Paulette, an agriculture and natural resources Extension agent for Pulaski County, will then give an update on the New River Valley’s Virginia Quality Assured program.

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Virginia Tech to host beef cattle health conference in Blacksburg Jan. 30

beef-cattle web

Last year’s Beef Cattle Health Conference attracted more than 300 cattle producers and set a new attendance record.

BLACKSBURG, Va., Jan. 20, 2016 – The Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine at Virginia Tech and Virginia Cooperative Extension are hosting the Virginia Tech Beef Cattle Health Conference on Saturday, Jan. 30, from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Designed to give beef cattle producers an opportunity to learn strategies to improve the health of their herds, the conference will take place in the auditorium at Virginia Tech’s Litton-Reaves Hall, located at 175 West Campus Drive.

The conference will feature special guest Tom Noffsinger of Benkelman, Nebraska, a consulting feedlot veterinarian best known for his passion and enthusiasm for working with feed yards and ranches on low-stress cattle handing. An increasing number of feed yards and ranches are incorporating the low-stress handing philosophy and production practice into their daily operations to their and their cattle’s benefit.

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Virginia Tech to host beef cattle health conference in Blacksburg, Jan. 31

BLACKSBURG, Va., Jan. 12, 2015 – The Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine and Virginia Cooperative Extension are hosting the Virginia Tech Beef Cattle Health Conference on Saturday, Jan. 31 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Designed to give beef cattle producers an opportunity to learn strategies to improve the health of their herds, the conference will take place on the veterinary college’s Blacksburg campus, located at 245 Duck Pond Drive.

beef cattle in pasture

The Virginia Tech Beef Cattle Health Conference will include presentations on several topics to help beef
cattle producers improve the health of their herds.

The morning program will include presentations from faculty members in the veterinary college’s Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences and elsewhere, including:

  • Dr. John Currin, clinical associate professor of production management medicine and Extension veterinarian, on “What can we afford to do with the current price of calves and feed?”
  • Dr. Hillary Feldmann, food animal ambulatory and production medicine intern, on “Current issues with cattle poisons”
  • Jon Vest, Floyd County Extension agent, and Terry Slusher, a beef cattle producer in Floyd, Virginia, on “Tweaking your handling facilities”
  • Dr. W. Dee Whittier, professor of production management medicine and Extension veterinarian, on “The cost to create a pregnancy: Artificial insemination and natural service”
  • Dr. Terry Swecker, professor of production management medicine and clinical nutrition, on “Stretching hay”
  • Dr. Sierra Guynn, clinical assistant professor of production management medicine, on “Water-related cattle disease”
  • Dr. Kevin Pelzer, professor of production management medicine and epidemiology, on “Current health issues”

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