|Bovine respiratory disease complex (BRDC) is a multi-factorial disease in which numerous factors, such as animal management, pathogen exposure and environmental conditions, contribute to the development of acute respiratory illness in feedlot cattle. The role of specific pathogens in the development of BRDC has been difficult to define because of the complex nature of the disease and the presence of implicated bacterial pathogens in the upper respiratory tract of healthy animals. Mycoplasma bovis is an important pathogen of cattle and recognised as a major contributor to cases of mastitis, caseonecrotic bronchopneumonia, arthritis and otitis media. Prevention of BRD is much more successful and economically feasible than treatment. An ideal processing protocol should include vaccination of these calves two weeks before shipping to allow development of an adequate immune response, and to minimize pre-shipping stress. Calves should receive a booster vaccination once they reach their destination. Vaccination will merely prime an immune response in a healthy immune system. Animals that are immuno-compromised have severely hampered this response.
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