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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: CHARACTERIZATION AND ENHANCEMENT OF IMMUNE RESPONSES OF CALVES Project Number: 3625-32000-079-00
Project Type: Appropriated

Start Date: Apr 08, 2006
End Date: Apr 07, 2011

Objective:
1) Develop experimental models to characterize the immune response of neonatal calves; emphasizing the development (i.e., ontogeny) and competency of the cellular, adaptive arms of the immune system. 2) Determine the effects of protein and energy, and micronutrients (i.e., fat-soluble vitamins D and A) on immune maturation/competency, and metabolism and growth performance of neonatal calves. 3) Determine if alterations in immune function associated with nutritional modulation (as assessed in Objective 2) reduce the severity and duration of infections in dairy calves.

Approach:
The goal of Objective 1 will be to characterize the maturing cellular and humoral (i.e., antibody-specific) immune responses of calves elicited by neonatal vaccination with standard and newer DNA-based vaccines, and correlate these responses with the degree of protection afforded against subsequent experimental infection several months after weaning. The goal of Objective 2 will be to evaluate the effects of growth rate, cold stress, and vitamins A and D as supplements or adjuvants on immune function, health and growth performance of neonatal calves. The goal of Objective 3 will be to evaluate the effects of enhanced dietary protein and energy, provided in the form of an intensified milk replacer, on the health and growth performance of preweaned calves in a "real world" commercial setting where disease exposure is typical of that found on calf-rearing farms. IBC-0317 - BSL-2, Approved 11/17/09.

Last Modified: 9/3/2014
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