Submitted to: Hoard's Dairyman
Publication Type: Trade Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/6/2009
Publication Date: 3/20/2009
Citation: Foote, M., Nonnecke, B.J. 2009. What About Vaccinating Newborns? Hoard's Dairyman. 154(5):166. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: In this review, results from studies evaluating immune competency of the pre-ruminant calf are discussed. It has been believed that vaccination of the young calf is not effective. Recent studies, however, have revealed that certain aspects of the neonatal calf’s immune system are fully intact or even adult-like in their responsiveness. In addition, it appears that the calf can respond very strongly to certain vaccines if vaccinated as early as one week of age. Results from studies done at the USDA, ARS, National Animal Disease Center indicate that early vaccination of newborn calves protects against infections requiring cellular rather than antibody mediated responses for resolution. These findings suggest that multiple aspects of the calf’s immune response need to be evaluated when investigating the neonate’s responses to candidate vaccines and that new approaches are needed for development of vaccines effective in reducing morbidity and mortality associated with infectious diseases in young dairy cattle.