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Abstract

Objective—To determine whether immunity against bovine respiratory syncytial virus (BRSV) mitigates the effects of 3-methylindole (3MI) on occurrence of bovine respiratory tract disease (BRD) and rate of gain in feedlot cattle.

Animals—254 mixed-breed beef cattle.

Procedure—Cattle were randomly assigned to 1 of 3 groups at the time of arrival at the feedlot. One group was vaccinated with an inactivated BRSV vaccine, another was vaccinated with a modified-live BRSV vaccine, and the third was maintained as unvaccinated control cattle. On days 0 and 28, serum BRSV antibody concentrations were measured, using serum neutralizing and ELISA techniques. Serum 3MI concentrations were measured at feedlot arrival and 3 days later. Cattle were monitored for development of BRD. At slaughter, lungs were evaluated grossly for chronic lesions.

Results—Higher serum 3MI concentrations early in the feeding period were associated with lower mean daily gain. Control cattle were more likely to be treated for BRD after day 3, compared with cattle vaccinated with the modified-live BRSV vaccine. Humoral immunity against BRSV did not appear to modify the effect of 3MI on development of BRD or mean daily gain.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest that abrogating the effects of 3MI and BRSV infection may improve the health and growth performance of feedlot cattle. However, in this study, immunity against BRSV did not appear to protect against the potential synergism between 3MI and BRSV infection, possibly because of the slow rates of gain of cattle included in the study or timing of sample collection. (Am J Vet Res 2000;61:1309–1314)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research