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Vet J. 2000 May;159(3):262-9.

Immunization with a Streptococcus bovis vaccine administered by different routes against lactic acidosis in sheep.

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Division of Animal Science, University of New England, Armidale, Australia.


Streptococcus bovis is an important lactic acid bacterium in the rumen, which contributes to the development of lactic acidosis. This study was designed to test the efficacy of immunization with S. bovis primed either intramuscularly (i.m.) or intraperitoneally (i.p. ) against lactic acidosis. Forty-five wethers were allocated to three treatment groups. Two groups were injected with a S. bovis vaccine by either the i.m. or i.p. route for primary immunization; both groups were further immunized by the same route(s) (oral and/or i.m.) for boosters. The third group was not immunized (control). Antibody concentrations were measured in saliva prior to and following animals being fed a grain diet, and also in the rumen fluid, before the animals were suddenly introduced to a grain diet. The average antibody concentration in the animals of the i.m. group was higher than the i.p. group (P< 0.05). The antibody concentration in the rumen fluid of immunized sheep was higher than the control animals (P< 0.01). The difference in the rumen fluid antibody concentration between the i.m. and i.p. groups was not statistically significant (P> 0.05). In the i.m. group, there was a significantly greater feed intake, higher rumen pH, lower diarrhoea scores, and less increase in blood packed cell volume following grain feeding than in the animals of the control group. The severity of diarrhoea and the increase of blood packed cell volume in the animals of the i. p. group were also less than in the animals of the control group. The results suggest that the risk of lactic acidosis can be reduced by immunization against S. bovis, and that the immunization primed i. m. is more effective than the immunization primed i.p.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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