To compare initial titers, duration, and residual clinical protection of passively transferred bovine respiratory syncytial virus (BRSV) nasal immunoglobulin (Ig) G-1 and IgA, and serum neutralizing (SN) antibodies.
40 three-month-old beef steers born either to unvaccinated or vaccinated cows.
During the last trimester of gestation, cows were assigned randomly to either vaccinated or unvaccinated groups. Calves were grouped on the basis of whether they nursed colostrum from unvaccinated dams (NO-VACC group; n = 20) versus dams vaccinated with 2 doses of an inactivated BRSV vaccine (VACC group; n = 20). At 3 months of age, calves were challenged with BRSV. Respiratory signs were scored. Nasal BRSV IgG-1 and IgA and SN antibodies were compared before and after the challenge. The presence of BRSV in nasal secretions was evaluated by reverse transcription-PCR assays.
Respiratory scores after BRSV challenge were similar between treatment groups. Nasal BRSV IgG-1 and SN antibodies were significantly greater in VACC calves at 48 hours of life; however, by 3 months of age, titers had decayed in both groups. Nasal BRSV IgA titers were minimal after colostrum intake and before the BRSV challenge, and increased in both groups after the challenge. The NO-VACC group had a significantly greater probability of shedding BRSV compared with VACC calves.
At 3 months of age, titers of passively transferred BRSV antibodies in VACC and NO-VACC calves had decayed to nonprotective levels. Calves born to vaccinated dams had a decreased probability of BRSV shedding; however, this was not related to differences in SN or nasal BRSV antibody titers.