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Conglutinin and immunoconglutinin titers in stressed calves in a feedlot

Charles W. Purdy DVM, PhD1, Raymond W. Loan DVM, PhD2, David C. Straus PhD3, Robert E. Briggs MS, DVM4, and Glynn H. Frank DVM, PhD5
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  • 1 USDA-Agricultural Research Service (ARS), Conservation and Production Research Laboratory, PO Drawer 10, Bushland, TX 79012.
  • | 2 Department of Veterinary Pathobiology, College of Veterinary Medicine, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843.
  • | 3 Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Health Science Center, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX 79430.
  • | 4 USDA-ARS, National Animal Disease Center, PO Box 70, Ames, IA 50010.
  • | 5 USDA-ARS, National Animal Disease Center, PO Box 70, Ames, IA 50010.

Abstract

Objective—To determine whether increased conglutinin titers are evident in stressed calves that do not develop respiratory tract disease in feedlots,compared with respiratory tract disease, and to determine the increase in immunoconglutinin titers.

Animals—101 mixed-breed beef calves.

Procedure—Calves were processed at 4 farms of origin and allowed to remain with their dams for another 100 days. Calves from each farm were brought to a centrally located order-buyer barn. In a feedlot, 101 calves were assigned to pens and observed daily for clinical signs of acute respiratory tract disease. When sick calves were detected, they were treated with antibiotics and isolated in a pen for 4 days. Conglutinin and immunoconglutinin titers were determined for all calves.

Results—During the 28-day study, 73 calves developed respiratory tract disease, whereas 28 calves remained healthy. Mean conglutinin titers differed significantly among calves from the 4 farms. Significant differences were not detected in conglutinin titers among calves on the basis of sex, morbidity, or vaccination status against Mannheimia haemolytica at each farm, the order-buyer barn, or the feedlot on days 8, 15, and 28 after arrival. Immunoconglutinin titers in calves differed significantly among farms and morbidity status.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Mean conglutinin titers in calves do not appear to be associated with the incidence of acute respiratory tract disease; however, increased immunoconglutinin titers appear to be associated with recovery of stressed calves from respiratory tract disease during the first 15 days after arrival in a feedlot. (Am J Vet Res 2000;61:1403–1409)

Abstract

Objective—To determine whether increased conglutinin titers are evident in stressed calves that do not develop respiratory tract disease in feedlots,compared with respiratory tract disease, and to determine the increase in immunoconglutinin titers.

Animals—101 mixed-breed beef calves.

Procedure—Calves were processed at 4 farms of origin and allowed to remain with their dams for another 100 days. Calves from each farm were brought to a centrally located order-buyer barn. In a feedlot, 101 calves were assigned to pens and observed daily for clinical signs of acute respiratory tract disease. When sick calves were detected, they were treated with antibiotics and isolated in a pen for 4 days. Conglutinin and immunoconglutinin titers were determined for all calves.

Results—During the 28-day study, 73 calves developed respiratory tract disease, whereas 28 calves remained healthy. Mean conglutinin titers differed significantly among calves from the 4 farms. Significant differences were not detected in conglutinin titers among calves on the basis of sex, morbidity, or vaccination status against Mannheimia haemolytica at each farm, the order-buyer barn, or the feedlot on days 8, 15, and 28 after arrival. Immunoconglutinin titers in calves differed significantly among farms and morbidity status.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Mean conglutinin titers in calves do not appear to be associated with the incidence of acute respiratory tract disease; however, increased immunoconglutinin titers appear to be associated with recovery of stressed calves from respiratory tract disease during the first 15 days after arrival in a feedlot. (Am J Vet Res 2000;61:1403–1409)