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Observations were made on development of diarrhea in special - fed calves (n = 460) on 8 commercial facilities during 2 successive 16-week production cycles at weeks 0, 2, 4, 8, 12, and 16. A total of 23% were affected, with peak number of calves with diarrhea observed at week 0. Suspected enteropathogens were identified in 86 % of these calves, most commonly cryptosporidia, coronavirus, and rotavirus. Identified potential zoonotic pathogens included Giardia and Salmonella spp and verotoxigenic Escherichia coli. Noncytopathic bovine viral diarrhea virus was isolated from 6 calves that had repeated bouts of illness. Only 22% of calves entering the veal facilities had adequate transfer of passive immunity. At week 0, serum IgG concentration in calves that subsequently died or had diarrhea was lower (P < 0.001) than that in healthy calves. All calves that died (n = 6) during the first 4 weeks of production had complete failure of transfer of passive immunity.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research