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ARS Home » Plains Area » Lubbock, Texas » Cropping Systems Research Laboratory » Livestock Issues Research » Research » Research Project #433171

Research Project: Nutritional Intervention and Management Strategies to Reduce Stress and Improve Health and Well-being in Cattle and Swine

Location: Livestock Issues Research

2020 Annual Report

Objective 1: Determine management strategies to reduce the incidence and severity of bovine respiratory disease. • Sub-Objective 1.A. Utilize nutritional prophylactic supplements in dairy calves to mitigate the negative effects of bovine respiratory disease on cattle health and well-being. • Sub-Objective 1.B. Study the interactive effects of different management systems and vaccine administration protocols on respiratory disease development and severity in beef cattle. Objective 2: Identify nutritional strategies to mitigate the impacts of pathogen exposure on immunity and overall well-being. • Sub-Objective 2.A. Utilize prebiotic, probiotic and paraprobiotic supplements to mitigate pathogen colonization, migration, and translocation in pigs to promote overall health and well-being. • Sub-Objective 2.B. Utilize prebiotic, probiotic and paraprobiotic supplements to mitigate Salmonella pathogenesis and its negative impacts on overall well-being in dairy calves. Objective 3: Reduce the incidence and severity of liver abscesses in cattle. • Sub-Objective 3.A. Develop a reliable and repeatable experimental model to study liver abscesses in cattle. • Sub-Objective 3.B. Utilize prebiotic, probiotic and paraprobiotic supplements as a means to reduce the incidence and severity of liver abscesses in cattle.

As methods to improve productivity in livestock continue to make progress, efforts associated with improving health and well-being must also continue to be a main objective. In this Project Plan, the term “well-being” is being used as a catch-all term for the absence of sub-clinical disease, reduced indicators of stress and inflammation, and improved thriftiness of the animal. Issues barring the way of progress include understanding the pathogenesis of diseases and how stress influences pathogens/diseases, immunity, and overall well-being. Developing models to study stressors, pathogens/diseases, and viable managerial solutions for combating diseases is essential for improving livestock productivity and well-being. Bovine respiratory disease (BRD) and liver abscesses in cattle and salmonellosis in dairy calves and swine cost producers over $5 billion annually. Objective 1 will address the use of nutritional prophylactic supplements and vaccination strategies to reduce the incidence and severity of BRD in cattle. Novel, non-antibiotic compounds have been developed that may improve productivity and well-being while alleviating the negative impacts of disease without the use of consumer scrutinized pharmaceuticals. Objective 2 will evaluate the potential benefit of non-antibiotic supplements to reduce pathogen colonization, migration, and translocation in pigs and dairy calves. In Objective 3, we will develop a reliable and repeatable “real world” experimental liver abscess model to evaluate intervention strategies to improve animal well-being, and reduce economic losses. Discovery and evaluation of non-antibiotic alternatives that reduce economic losses and the negative impacts of stressors and diseases on overall well-being in livestock will be beneficial for producers, consumers, and the production animals themselves.

Progress Report
In the third year of the project plan, researchers in Lubbock, Texas, conducted four studies aimed at finding solutions to issues plaguing the cattle and swine industries. The first two research projects, conducted under Sub-objective 1B, studied whether natural factors, such as weather and the sex of cattle, affected illness associated with Bovine Respiratory Disease. In the first experiment, scientists studied cattle illness and deaths attributed to Bovine Respiratory Disease that were reported in feedlots in the Texas Panhandle with weather measured by a nearby West Texas Mesonet station over a four-year period. What researchers found was that there was no relationship between high, low or daily temperature range with reported Bovine Respiratory Disease illness or death. This conflicts with other data that suggests a relationship between daily temperature range and Bovine Respiratory Disease related illness or death in feedlots. Data analysis continues on this project, as there are additional relationships between cattle health and weather to explore. The second study under Sub-Objective 1B tested the effect of the sex of cattle (male versus female) on the immune response to a Bovine Respiratory Disease challenge. Results from this experiment suggest that male cattle produce a stronger, quicker response to infection while female cattle had a response that was delayed up to 2 days compared to male cattle. These data suggest that there is a difference in the way the immune system of male and female cattle respond to Bovine Respiratory Disease, and cattle producers need to be aware of this when watching cattle for signs of illness. This work adds to previous studies that show differences in the way the immune system of male and female livestock responds to illness. Work also continues for Sub-objective 2A and 2B. Scientists established a relationship with a company to study the effects of bacteriophages on the immune response to various bacteria. Bacteriophages are very specific for the bacteria they attack, and may provide a more targeted approach for reducing the negative effects of Salmonella and other bacterial infections in cattle and swine. Initial studies in cattle have been designed, and live-animal studies are planned for fiscal year 2021. In addition, a study was conducted to determine the effect of feeding a bacterial spore on the shedding of Salmonella in feedlot cattle. Initial results suggest that there is limited Salmonella infection of cattle in the Northern Plains region of the U.S. during late spring; however, additional samples will be collected and analysis continues on this project. Lastly, progress has been made under Sub-objective 3A. One study was conducted aimed at developing a reliable and repeatable liver abscess model in cattle. Data from the initial experiment showed that no liver abscesses were developed in the calves. As a result, refinements have been made to the study design and a second experiment is planned for early in fiscal year 2021.

1. No relationship between weather and cases of Bovine Respiratory Disease. Cattle producers lose an estimated $3 billion each year due to Bovine Respiratory Disease. Changes in weather patterns may have an impact on when cattle fall sick or die from Bovine Respiratory Disease. Scientists in Lubbock, Texas assessed relationships between daily temperatures and incidences of sickness and death attributed to Bovine Respiratory Disease in a 100-km region of the Texas Panhandle. This study found there was no relationship between daily high and low temperatures, or the daily temperature range (the differences between daily high and low temperatures), and sickness or death caused by Bovine Respiratory Disease, even though there was a trend for more cases of Bovine Respiratory Disease in the winter months. These data suggest that weather is not a main factor affecting sickness or death caused by Bovine Respiratory Disease in feedlot cattle.

2. Sex influences severity of Bovine Respiratory Disease. There are clear differences in the way male and female animals look in most animal species, but these gender differences go much deeper than outward appearance. Other bodily systems, such as the immune system, also react differently during infections and illness. Scientists in Lubbock, Texas designed a study to test whether male and female cattle had different illness responses to infection with Bovine Respiratory Disease (BRD), a disease that costs cattle producers as much as $3 billion each year. Scientists induced respiratory illness in male and female cattle and then measured blood profiles and signs of sickness. Scientists found that male cattle show signs of BRD illness earlier than female cattle. Additionally, male cattle had blood profiles that indicated greater inflammation. Too much inflammation can harm healthy tissues and organs. In female cattle, the illness responses were slower, and blood profiles indicated that inflammation was substantially less. This data suggests that female cattle may be better at initially fighting off BRD illness. Knowing that male and female cattle respond differently, including displaying visual signs of illness, to diseases such as BRD may help producers develop treatments for BRD that are specific for males and females.

Review Publications
McBride, M.L., Sanchez, N.C., Carroll, J.A., Broadway, P.R., Ortiz, X.A., Collier, J.L., Chapman, J.D., Mclean, D.J., Kattesh, H.G., Gillespie, B.E., Xiao, Y., Collier, R.J. 2020. Response to adrenocorticotropic hormone or corticotrophin releasing hormone and vasopressin in lactating cows fed an immune-modulatory supplement under thermoneutral or acute heat stress conditions. Journal of Dairy Science. 103(7):6612-6626.
Sharon, K.P., Liang, Y., Sanchez, N.C., Carroll, J.A., Broadway, P.R., Davis, E.M., Ballou, M.A. 2019. Pre-weaning plane of nutrition and Mannheimia haemolytica dose influence inflammatory responses to a bovine herpesvirus-1 and Mannheimia haemolytica challenge in post-weaning Holstein calves. Journal of Dairy Science. 102(10):9082-9096.
Richeson, J.T., Hughes, H.D., Broadway, P.R., Carroll, J.A. 2019. Vaccination management of beef cattle: Delayed vaccination and endotoxin stacking. In: Smith, R. A., editor. The Veterinary Clinics of North America. Food Animal Practice. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier. p. 575-592.
Sanchez, N.C., Carroll, J.A., May, N.D., Hughes, H.D., Roberts, S.L., Broadway, P.R., Ballou, M.A., Richeson, J.T. 2019. Modulation of the metabolic response using dexamethasone in beef steers vaccinated with a multivalent respiratory vaccine. Translational Animal Science. 4:324-330.
Littlejohn, B.P., Price, D.M., Neuendorff, D.A., Carroll, J.A., Vann, R.C., Riggs, P.K., Riley, D.G., Long, C.R., Randel, R.D., Welsh, T.H. 2019. Influence of prenatal transportation stress-induced differential DNA methylation on the physiological control of behavior and stress response in suckling Brahman bulls calves. Journal of Animal Science. 98(1):1-18.
Broadway, P.R., Carroll, J.A., Sanchez, N.C., Callaway, T.R., Lawhon, S.D., Gart, E.V., Bryan, L.K., Nisbet, D.J., Hughes, H.D., Legako, J.F., Hergenreder, J.E., Rounds, W. 2020. Bacillus subtilis PB6 supplementation in weaned Holstein steers during an experimental Salmonella challenge. Foodborne Pathogens and Disease. 17:8.
McAfee, J.M., Kattesh, H.G., Lindemann, M.D., Voy, B.H., Kojima, C.J., Sanchez, N.C., Carroll, J.A., Gillespie, B.E., Saxton, A.M. 2019. Effect of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid (n-3 PUFA) supplementation to lactating sows on growth and indicators of stress in the post-weaned pig. Journal of Animal Science. 97(11):4453-4463.
Sanchez, N.C., Carroll, J.A., Broadway, P.R., Schell, T.H., Puntenney, S.B., McLean, D.J. 2019. Supplementation of OmniGen-AF® improves the metabolic response to a glucose tolerance test in beef heifers. Translational Animal Science. 3:1521-1529.
Wilkerson, S., Broadway, P.R., Carroll, J.A., Sanchez, N.C., Tigue, A., Rehm, J., Lawhon, S.D., Callaway, T.R., Bratcher, C.L. 2020. Translocation of orally inoculated Salmonella following mild immunosuppression in Holstein calves and the presence of the Salmonella in ground beef samples. Foodborne Pathogens and Disease.
Broadway, P.R., Mauget, S.A., Sanchez, N.C., Carroll, J.A. 2020. Correlation of ambient temperature with feedlot cattle morbidity and mortality in the Texas Panhandle. Frontiers in Veterinary Science. 7:413.
Word, A.B., Broadway, P.R., Sanchez, N.C., Hutcheson, J.P., Ellis, G.B., Holland, B.P., Ballou, M.A., Carroll, J.A. 2020. Acute immunological and metabolic responses of beef heifers administered transdermal flunixin meglumine at various times relative to a respiratory disease challenge. American Journal of Veterinary Research. 81(3):243-253.
Broadway, P.R., Carroll, J.A., Sanchez, N.C., Cravey, M.D., Corley, J.R. 2020. Some negative effects of heat stress in feedlot heifers may be mitigated via yeast probiotic supplementation. Frontiers in Veterinary Science. 6:515.