Calming a Costly Fever

Dr. Anthony Confer's cattle vaccines save money, lives, and worry.

Dr. Anthony Confer knows Oklahoma livelihoods are at stake when he studies bovine respiratory disease, “shipping fever.” The disease, which can strike young calves when they are commingled for feeding, auction and transit to buyers, costs cattle ranchers more than all other diseases combined—an estimated $100 million per year in Oklahoma alone. Better vaccines can lower that burden for cattle ranchers. And when we prevent disease with a vaccine, we can curtail the use of antibiotics—making U.S. beef even more palatable to overseas consumers wary of antibiotics.

A Regents Professor and Sitlington Endowed Chair for Animal Health Research, Dr. Confer has training in pathology and in microbiology research. He works closely with colleagues in veterinary medicine and with molecular scientists. His collaborative style fits nicely at OSU. “Interdisciplinary collaboration is the name of the game in research today,” he said. “No one scientist can cover everything, particularly when we take things from the molecular level all the way to the applied level.”

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