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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: High-Growth Rate Fails to Enhance Adaptive Immune Responses in Neonatal Calves and Decreases Immune Cell Viability

item Foote, Monica - IOWA STATE UNIVERSITY
item Beitz, Donald - IOWA STATE UNIVERSITY

Submitted to: Electronic Publication
Publication Type: Other
Publication Acceptance Date: March 1, 2006
Publication Date: April 20, 2006
Repository URL:
Citation: Foote, M.R., Nonnecke, B.J., Waters, W.R., Beitz, D.C. 2006. High-growth rate fails to enhance adaptive immune responses in neonatal calves and decreases immune cell viability. Iowa State University Animal Industry Report 2006. Available:

Technical Abstract: Neonatal calves are highly susceptible to bacterial and viral pathogens. Research suggests that increasing the plane of nutrition of the milk replacer-fed calf not only enhances growth rate and feed efficiency but may also benefit calf health. Effects of growth rate on immune responses of preruminant calves are not well characterized. This study shows that calves fed the same milk replacer to achieve three growth rates (no, low, and high growth) mount similar immune responses to vaccination. Immune cells from high-growth calves, however, were less viable when compared with the cell populations from low- and no-growth calves. Results suggest that malnutrition in the absence of weight loss is not detrimental to immune responses and that a high growth rate does not enhance these responses. Effects of growth rate on infectious disease susceptibility need to be investigated further. This research provides researchers and producers new information regarding the relationship between nutrition and immune function in the calf.

Last Modified: 4/22/2015
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