Acta Vet. Brno 2023, 92: 11-19

The influence of passive colostrum transfer on humoral immunity to selected antigens of Mannheimia haemolytica in calves

Andrzej Wernicki, Adam Żurek, Marta Dec, Andrzej Puchalski, Renata Urban-Chmiel

University of Life Sciences in Lublin, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Department of Veterinary Prevention and Avian Diseases, Lublin, Poland

Received June 26, 2020
Accepted December 13, 2022

The aim of the study was to evaluate the effectiveness of colostral immunity against aetiological agents of bovine respiratory disease complex (BRDC), to assess the suppressive effect of colostral antibodies against Mannheimia haemolytica on immunity, and to analyse acute phase proteins in calves. Holstein-Friesian and Simmental cows and calves were immunized with M. haemolytica leukotoxin (Lkt) and outer membrane proteins (OMPs) at 6 and 4 weeks before parturition. Sera and colostrum were collected from the cows directly after calving. Sera from calves were obtained before colostrum intake and 48 h after birth. Calves from vaccinated and unvaccinated cows were placed in the feedlot and immunized with Lkt or OMP on days 10 and 24. Calves were tested for serum antibodies against respiratory viruses. Trachea and lung samples were collected for bacteriological examination from all calves that had died with BRDC. The results indicated high colostrum values and IgG transfer in calves at 48 h (> 12.5 g/l) and a high concentration of anti-BVD antibodies in calves at 48 h (> 33–45 mg/ml). Similar values were observed for bovine herpes virus BHV-1 and bovine respiratory sycytil virus BRSV. Immunoglobulin concentrations were highest for antibodies specific to parainfluenza PI-3 and adenoviruses. The lowest antibody levels were detected against M. haemolytica antigens in all experimental groups of calves (< 50 mg/ml in calves of cows vaccinated with M. haemolytica antigens and < 25 mg/ml in calves of unvaccinated cows). The findings indicate the need for early immunization of calves, which is often precluded by stress associated with transport and adaptation to the new conditions in the feedlot.


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