Report on the Agricultural Experiment Stations, 1953 Page: 10
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10 REPORT ON EXPERIMENT STATIONS, 19 5 3
Research on anaplasmosis is necessarily an expensive and longtime
procedure, mainly because cattle must be used as experimental
animals, since small laboratory animals have not proven susceptible
to the disease. Thus, one way of reducing expense of this type of
study would be to find a small laboratory animal in which anapLasma
could be propagated. The Florida station has tried the cotton rat
and pocket gopher-so far with no success, but the search is being
In summary, additional information needed to solve the anaplasmosis
problems includes: (1) The nature of the causative agent, (2)
the modes of its transmission in the field, (3) treatment of clinical
cases and carrier animals, (4) accurate means of detecting carrier
animals, and (5) biologic methods for controlling the disease.
"X-disease" (hyperkeratosis of cattle)
A review of the study of X-disease in cattle reveals that excellent
progress has been made toward solving a major disease problem
through collaborative effort.
The 1948 Report on the Agricultural Experiment Stations (p. 116)
stated that "Formal research memoranda are being drawn up by
several of the State experiment stations for the purpose of studying
the disease under local conditions and a number of them, with the
Department, have initiated cooperative action to trace down the factors
responsible for this serious malady and to develop the means for
combating it." At the time that report was made there was a veil
of mystery surrounding the disease that had been responsible for
heavy losses in affected herds over a large part of the Nation. The
following State experiment stations joined with the Department of
Agriculture and cooperators from industry in research on X-disease:
Alabama, Colorado, Storrs (Connecticut), Georgia, Illinois, Indiana,
Kansas, Michigan, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York (Cornell),
North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia.
In the 1951 and 1952 reports it was possible to summarize some of
the findings, that have now been substantiated further. Highly
chlorinated napthalenes contained in certain lubricants were shown
to be the cause of X-disease. The findings made it possible for lubricant
manufacturers and other branches of indutry to eliminate the
toxic substance in materials used for operations involving cattle or in
the processing of feeds for their use. In addition, preventive measures
were encouraged to keep cattle away from farm machinery,
crankcase oil, or oil drums and similar containers, where they might
eat grease or oil containing the compound.
This is an acute, contagious, infectious disease of young or newborn
calves, characterized by a profuse diarrhea and rapid exhaustion. In
a majority of cases the calves affected are very young, but in severe
outbreaks the infection may be spread to older calves. The Pennsylvania
station, which previously reported (1951 Annual Report, p. 85)
that the administration of low levels of drugs and antibiotics at the
time of birth reduces the incidence of scours, has verified its preliminary
findings. This preventive method for handling calf scours may
be effective in avoiding the severe outbreaks that often occur when
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United States. Office of Experiment Stations. Report on the Agricultural Experiment Stations, 1953, book, 1953; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc5989/m1/12/: accessed October 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.