An OSU researcher in the Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences has developed a first-in-class diagnostic screen (ELISA) for all cattle entering feedlots. Screening identifies cattle with early inflammatory disease such as pneumonia. If detected early and treated, this test may prevent significant losses from serious illness and chronic respiratory disease. We estimate that aggregate beef yields could increase with early and accurate treatment yielding greater gain and annual revenue (2009 estimates $44 billion; USDA Meat Animals Production, Disposition, and Income, 2009 summary. April 2100; www.nass.usda.gov; US only).
Feedlot veterinarians and managers as well as other health care providers are the end customers for this patient-side test. Cattle respiratory disease (aka shipping fever) is associated with an early response of the animals’ neutrophils to signals from the resident lung cells and bacterial organisms or their toxic products. The test functions to detect a protein-complex which is released only by activated neutrophils. The principle of this sandwich ELISA is to capture one of the 2 proteins present in this covalent complex and detect the second bound protein.
This test is applicable to all cattle entering feedlots. Therefore, the market size is approximately 1-2 million animals per month in the US market (2010 – average monthly placements were 1,930,000 +/- 310,000 head). The total number of animals placed on feed in 2010 was ~23.13 million head. Compared with January 2010, the number of cattle on feed in January 2011 were increased 5% (www.nass.usda.gov).
Early and accurate detection of pneumonia will improve animal health and well-being and allow more accurate diagnoses and treatments. This first-in-class test will identify animals with very early changes in their blood associated with inflammation and bacterial infection. Currently, early and accurate detection is not practical on individual animals in large feedlots. Visual identification of sick animals is possible; however, substantial tissue damage has already occurred by the time a sick animal can be accurately diagnosed by sight. At the proposed cost of $5-10/test, sales could approximate $115-$230 million per year in the US feedlot market alone.
The science is well founded (see references below). With appropriate partners/licensee(s), it is conceivable that products would be offered for the feedlot market by December 2012. Additional human and markets should be assessed for relevance and commercialization. Markets such as bacterial sepsis, pneumonia, ARDS, and acute lung injury are relevant.
Bannikov GA, Mattoon JS, Abrahamsen EJ, Premanandan C, Green-Church KB, Marsh AE, Lakritz J. Biochemical and enzymatic characterization of purified covalent complexes of matrix metalloproteinase-9 and haptoglobin released by bovine granulocytes in vitro. Am. J. Vet. Res. 2007; 68:995-1004.
Bannikov, GA, et al. (2010). Serum haptoglobin-matrix metalloproteinase 9 (Hp-MMP 9) complex as a biomarker of systemic inflammation in cattle. Vet Immunol Immunopath 139:41-49.