Submitted to: Western Section of Animal Science Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/1/2005
Publication Date: 6/15/2005
Citation: Standley, T.T., Paterson, J.A., Skinner, K.D., Rainey, B.M., Roberts, A.J., Geary, T.W., Smith, G., White, R. 2005. The use of an experimental vaccine in gestating beef cows to reduce the shedding of e. coli 0157:h7 in the newborn calf. Western Section of Animal Science Proceedings 56:21-23. Interpretive Summary: Reducing the amount of E. coli O157:H7 shed through animal feces will be useful in preventing the contamination of meat. Results from this research indicate that vaccinating the gestating cow with an experimental vaccine against E. coli O157:H7 increased antibody titers against this organism in both the cow and suckling calf.
Technical Abstract: : One hundred and thirty seven beef cows in the last trimester of pregnancy were used to determine if vaccinating against E. coli O157:H7 would increase antibody titers in the serum and also result in the transfer these antibodies to the neonatal calf. Cows calved within a 30 d period starting March 20. Seventy-one cows were vaccinated with an experimental vaccine (Ft. Dodge Animal Health) and then co-mingled with 66 non-vaccinated control cows. Cows were vaccinated March 2 and again on March 16. Cow fecal and venous blood samples were collected at trial initiation and again at ~14 d after parturition. Calf feces and serum were collected at ~14 d after parturition and again ~60 d after parturition. The serum was analyzed for antibody titers to E. coli O157:H7 by an ELISA protocol. Prevalence of E. coli O157:H7 in feces collected on a rectoanal mucosal swab was determined using a commercial laboratory analysis (Food Safety Net, San Antonio, TX). Antibody titers to O157:H7 at time of treatment were not different (P=0.50) between cows from the two treatments but, antibody titers for O157:H7 in vaccinated cows were ten times greater (P<.001) than for control cows (917 vs. 83) after parturition. Titers in calves suckling vaccinated cows were greater (P<0.001) than titers in control calves (1485 vs.135) at ~14 d after calving. By 60 d, titers were still greater (P<0.001) in calves suckling vaccinated cows but appeared to decline slightly compared to the titers near parturition. Initial fecal samples for O157:H7 were negative for cows in both treatments and remained low through the study. There were no differences in levels of O157:H7 in fecal samples from calves at 60 d post partum; with less than 5% of all calves shedding O157:H7. Results of this experiment indicate that vaccination of gestating cows against E. coli O157:H7 resulted in elevated antibody titers compared to control cows and these antibodies were transferred to the calf.