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Interpretive Summary: Hematological and immunological responses to naturally occurring bovine respiratory disease in newly received beef calves in a commercial stocker farm

By: Afroza Akter, James M. Caldwell, Gina M. Pighetti, Elizabeth A. Shepherd, Chika C.  Okafor, Elizabeth A. Eckelkamp, J. Lannett Edwards, and Liesel G. Schneider

Blood and immune parameters are altered during bovine respiratory disease (BRD) progression and can be used for predicting disease status. We aimed looking at the dynamics of hematology and immunology in newly received stocker cattle in naturally occurring BRD. Forty newly received stocker cattle were managed by a local producer and monitored for BRD occurrence for 21 d after receiving during the high-risk period. Newly weaned calves were monitored as they experience several stress factors and become prone to BRD. Additionally, there are limited data related to immunological changes that occur in high-risk stocker cattle. Since there is no perfect diagnostic test for BRD, the diagnosis of BRD is likely missed when only visual signs are used. We observed that haptoglobin (HPT) was the most important parameter to differentiate BRD severity. The combination of HPT with blood parameters (hemoglobin and platelets) was useful to predict treatment and lung infection status. Therefore, measuring hematological and immunological parameters might be helpful to determine BRD status and facilitate treatment decisions in newly received stocker cattle.

Read the full article on the Journal of Animal Science.