Interpretive Summary: Effects of wildfire smoke PM2.5 on indicators of inflammation, health, and metabolism of preweaned Holstein heifers
By: Alexandra Pace, Patricia Villamediana, Pedram Rezamand, Amy L Skibiel
Wildfires contribute to fine particulate matter (PM2.5) pollution throughout the United States. Wildfire-PM2.5 exposure negatively affects human health and dairy cow production; however, the effects on calves are not known. We monitored preweaned calves exposed to natural wildfires to understand how wildfire-PM2.5 exposure affects calf health and performance. Calves exposed to wildfire PM2.5 and elevated temperature–humidity index (THI) experienced respiratory symptoms, alterations in blood cell composition and metabolism, and changes in circulating inflammatory proteins. These results suggest that PM2.5 along with increased THI induced an inflammatory response and alterations in energy metabolism that may contribute to calf health and performance deficits.
Read the full article in the Journal of Animal Science.