• We are sorry, but NCBI web applications do not support your browser and may not function properly. More information
Logo of canvetjReference to the Publisher site.Journal Web siteJournal Web siteHow to Submit
Can Vet J. Feb 1997; 38(2): 101–104.
PMCID: PMC1576546

Use of a clinical sepsis score for predicting bacteremia in neonatal dairy calves on a calf rearing farm.


In human, equine, and bovine neonates, early diagnosis of bacteremia remains a challenge for the internist. The objective of this study was to develop a predictive model for risk of bacteremia, based on a clinical evaluation system called the clinical sepsis score. Blood from 90 ill calves, 1- to 14-days-old from a calf-raising farm in the San Joaquin Valley of California was cultured. The calves were also scored according to a clinical score for hydration status, fecal appearance, general attitude, appearance of scleral vessels, and umbilical abnormality. Age, rectal temperature, heart rate, respiratory rate, and presence or absence of a focal site of infection were recorded. Prevalence of bacteremia was 31% (28/90). A logistic regression model indicated that high clinical score, presence of a focal infection, and increased age were associated with an increased risk of bacteremia in ill calves (P < 0.06). Calves for which the model predicted bacteremia with a probability > or = 40.8% were considered bacteremic, yielding acceptable sensitivity (75%) and specificity (71%) estimates. The predictive model was validated through a 2nd sampling of 100 calves (79 ill calves and 21 controls), of which 17 calves were bacteremic. The classification was 75% correct using the model, with an estimated sensitivity of 76% and specificity of 75%. Overall, results indicated that the model could be a useful tool for predicting bacteremia in ill calves in a clinical setting.

Full text

Full text is available as a scanned copy of the original print version. Get a printable copy (PDF file) of the complete article (775K), or click on a page image below to browse page by page. Links to PubMed are also available for Selected References.

Images in this article

Click on the image to see a larger version.

Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Fecteau G, Van Metre DC, Paré J, Smith BP, Higgins R, Holmberg CA, Jang S, Guterbock W. Bacteriological culture of blood from critically ill neonatal calves. Can Vet J. 1997 Feb;38(2):95–100. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Courcol R, Broutin M, Martin G. Aspects récents des techniques d'hémoculture. Ann Biol Clin (Paris) 1987;45(1):1–14. [PubMed]
  • Brewer BD, Koterba AM. Development of a scoring system for the early diagnosis of equine neonatal sepsis. Equine Vet J. 1988 Jan;20(1):18–22. [PubMed]
  • Töllner U. Early diagnosis of septicemia in the newborn. Clinical studies and sepsis score. Eur J Pediatr. 1982 Jul;138(4):331–337. [PubMed]

Articles from The Canadian Veterinary Journal are provided here courtesy of Canadian Veterinary Medical Association


Related citations in PubMed

See reviews...See all...

Cited by other articles in PMC

See all...


  • MedGen
    Related information in MedGen
  • PubMed
    PubMed citations for these articles

Recent Activity

Your browsing activity is empty.

Activity recording is turned off.

Turn recording back on

See more...