Skip to main content
ARS Home » Midwest Area » Ames, Iowa » National Animal Disease Center » Infectious Bacterial Diseases Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #312696


Location: Infectious Bacterial Diseases Research

Title: Early inflammation disorder in neonatal calves

item Krueger, Lucas - Iowa State University
item Beitz, Donald - Iowa State University
item Stuart, Robert - Stuart Products Incorporated
item Stabel, Judith

Submitted to: Meeting Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/20/2015
Publication Date: 3/18/2015
Citation: Krueger, L.A., Beitz, D.C., Stuart, R.L., Stabel, J.R. 2015. Early inflammation disorder in neonatal calves. Iowa State University Animal Industry Report. A. S. Leaflet No. R2969.

Interpretive Summary: Morbidity and mortality in neonatal calves is a major concern for dairy producers. Evidence suggests that calves can become infected shortly after birth by exposure to pathogens such as Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis, Salmonella, and Mycoplasma in either the feces or milk of infected dams, bedding or cohabitation with other infected animals. These pathogens may be spread to calves through colostrum or waste milk from sick or infected cows. Some producers have opted to feed colostrum replacers and/or pasteurized whole milk to their calves to avoid the potential spread of disease. However, the vitamin content of milk is negligible and may be impacting the immune response of neonatal calves to infectious pathogens. This study demonstrated that feeding colostrum replacer reduced the inflammatory state of calves and vitamin supplementation of colostrum improved serum vitamin levels. This information provides a useful management tool for dairy producers in allaying the spread of infectious disease to their calves and improving their health.

Technical Abstract: In the present study, 30 Holstein calves were acquired at birth and were randomly subjected to one of six treatments. One treatment group was colostrum deprived (CD) and five other treatment groups were fed colostrum replacer (CR). Of the five CR groups, one group was not further supplemented (CR), one received vitamin A (CR-A), one received vitamin D (CR-D), one received vitamin E (CR-E), and received vitamins A, D, and E (CR-ADE). Additionally, all calves were inoculated with Mycobacterium avium, subsp. paratuberculosis on d 1 and d 3 of age. One d after birth, CD calves exhibited lower IgG1, haptoglobin, and serum amyloid A concentrations in serum compared with the other five CR groups. These findings point to an endogenous early inflammation disorder in calves that are not fed colostrum.