The animal health industry recently developed a new generation of recombinant vaccines. Vaccines originally developed from killed or modified live viruses are being made available in one of three additional categories: subunit vaccines, gene-deleted vaccines, or vectored virus vaccines.

Subunit vaccines contain only the immunological components necessary to evoke a protective response for immunity without actual infection. Gene-deleted vaccines use recombinant technology that isolates and removes the disease-producing genes in the organism (viruses and bacteria).

The third and newest category available to beef producers, is vectored-virus vaccines. These use pathogenic viruses in which the immunity-producing genes have been removed and placed in a transport virus that is used to confer immunity in the animal. More than one disease can be targeted successfully using this approach. Newer products on the horizon from the animal health industry are expected to be more organism-specific and longer lasting.