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Exploratory cohort study to determine if dry cow vaccination with a Salmonella Newport bacterin can protect dairy calves against oral Salmonella challenge

Foster, Derek, Jacob, Megan, Stowe, Devorah, Smith, Geof
Journal of veterinary internal medicine 2019 v.33 no.4 pp. 1796-1806
Holstein, Salmonella Newport, Salmonella Typhimurium, blood serum, bulls, calving, clinical trials, cohort studies, colostrum, cows, dairy calves, dairy farming, dry period (lactation), hematology, immunoglobulins, intestines, morbidity, mortality, necropsy, protective effect, salmonellosis, sepsis (infection), signs and symptoms (animals and humans), vaccination, vaccines
BACKGROUND: Salmonellosis is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in neonatal calves, often occurring before preventative vaccines can be administered. HYPOTHESIS/OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the protective effect on calves of colostrum from cows vaccinated with a commercially available Salmonella Newport bacterin against a Salmonella Typhimurium challenge. ANIMALS: Twenty Holstein bull calves from a university dairy farm. METHODS: Nonrandomized placebo‐controlled trial in which colostrum was harvested from 30 cows that received 2 doses of either Salmonella bacterin or saline before calving. Colostrum collected from each group was pooled and fed to 2 groups of 10 calves at birth. At approximately 2 weeks of age, calves were challenged with Salmonella Typhimurium. Clinical, hematologic, microbiological, and postmortem findings were compared between the 2 groups. RESULTS: No differences in mortality, clinical findings, hematology results, blood and fecal cultures, or necropsy findings between the 2 groups were observed. Vaccinated cows had higher colostral titers, and calves fed this colostrum had higher serum titers (mean difference, 0.429; mean [SE], 0.852 [0.02] for vaccinated versus 0.423 [0.02] for control calves). CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL IMPORTANCE: Transfer of colostral immunoglobulins from Salmonella enterica serotype Newport bacterin to neonatal calves was not sufficient to decrease mortality, clinical signs, sepsis, intestinal damage, or fecal shedding when exposed to a highly pathogenic Salmonella isolate. A large‐scale randomized controlled clinical trial is needed to evaluate the efficacy of this bacterin when administered in the dry period for prevention of salmonellosis in neonatal calves.