Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science in Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences

Degree Level



Animal Science


Thomas, Lauren

Committee Member/Reader

Powell, Jeremy

Committee Member/Second Reader

Ward, Heidi


Anaplasmosis is an economically devastating disease in cattle that is caused by the rickettsial pathogen Anaplasma marginale. It is estimated that this parasitic bacterium causes over $300 million in expenses for the U.S. cattle industry annually. In Arkansas, the beef cattle industry is the fifth largest agricultural commodity in the state, thus necessitating a better understanding of this disease along with its prevalence. In this study, both polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and competitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) tests were used to determine the prevalence of A. marginale infection in Arkansas beef cattle on pasture in the six commonly known geographical regions within the state. Rates of regional seroprevalence and/or PCR prevalence ranged from 36.7% to 93.8% on samples obtained from 578 live beef cows that were two years of age or older. Overall, the highest percent prevalence was found along Crowley’s Ridge in the northeastern corner of the state. Regional percentages were applied to a state map identifying the geographical regions for distribution to county extension agents within the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture for educational purposes. Data from this study will also be used to determine which strains of A. marginale are present in Arkansas with the possibility of developing novel therapeutic interventions in the future.


Anaplasmosis, Beef cattle, PCR, ELISA, Anaplasma marginale, prevalence

Included in

Beef Science Commons