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J Anim Sci. 2009 Jul;87(7):2409-18. doi: 10.2527/jas.2008-1484. Epub 2009 Mar 13.

Effects of on-arrival versus delayed clostridial or modified live respiratory vaccinations on health, performance, bovine viral diarrhea virus type I titers, and stress and immune measures of newly received beef calves.

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University of Arkansas, Division of Agriculture, Department of Animal Science, Fayetteville, AR 72701, USA.


Stress, commonly associated with weaning, marketing, and shipment of feeder cattle, can compromise immune function, and vaccine administration during immunosuppression may reduce vaccine efficacy and calf growth. Four treatments were compared in a 2 x 2 factorial arrangement to evaluate the effect of on-arrival (d 0) vs. delayed (d 14) administration of clostridial (CLOS) and respiratory (RESP) vaccines on health, performance, bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV) antibody titers, and physiological immune measurements of high-risk, newly received calves. Crossbred bull and steer calves (n = 263) were weighed (239 +/- 1.2 kg), stratified by sex, and randomly assigned to vaccination treatment: 1) arrival CLOS, arrival RESP (ACAR); 2) arrival CLOS, delayed RESP (ACDR); 3) delayed CLOS, arrival RESP (DCAR); and 4) delayed CLOS, delayed RESP (DCDR). Body weight and blood samples were collected on d 0, 14, 28, 42, and 56. Average daily gain did not differ (P > or = 0.34), averaging 0.98, 0.93, 0.95, and 0.91 kg/d for ACAR, ACDR, DCAR, and DCDR, respectively, for the entire 56-d trial. Vaccination timing did not affect morbidity (P > or = 0.23); however, there tended to be a CLOS timing effect (P = 0.07) and RESP timing effect (P = 0.09) on days to initial bovine respiratory disease (BRD) treatment. Average days to initial BRD treatment were less for ACAR (6 +/- 0.8 d) compared with DCDR (8 +/- 0.8 d; P = 0.01). Greater white blood cell counts were observed for DCDR than ACDR (P = 0.01), with ACAR and DCAR being intermediate. Serum cortisol concentrations were greater on d 0 than d 14 (P < 0.01) or d 28 (P = 0.01) but no treatment x day interaction (P = 0.21) was observed. Timing of RESP administration affected (P = 0.001) serum BVDV type I titers, with greater (P < 0.01) levels in calves receiving RESP vaccine on arrival. Delaying CLOS or RESP vaccination did not affect BW gain or morbidity in high risk, newly received stocker calves. Calves administered RESP vaccine on d 0 developed antibody titers to BVDV type I earlier than delayed RESP treatments. Total white blood cell count was greatest when RESP and CLOS vaccination were delayed (DCDR).

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