Author(s): Tyler JW, Hancock DD, Wilson L, Muller F, Krytenberg D,
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Abstract The effect of vaccination with a commercially available R-mutant coliform mastitis vaccine on the survival of comingled dairy calves on a farm with endemic salmonellosis was examined. A total of 864 calves were randomly assigned to either vaccine (n = 435) or control (n = 429) groups. Passive transfer status of each calf was determined using refractometer determination of serum total protein concentration. Logistic models were developed to determine the effects of vaccine group and passive transfer status on calf survival to 100 days of age. In a model in which serum protein concentration was treated as a categorical variable, increasing serum total protein concentrations were associated with decreased mortality until these concentrations exceeded 6.0 g/dL. Calves with serum protein concentrations > 6.0 g/dL had increased risk for mortality compared with calves with serum protein concentrations > 5.5 g/dL but < or = 6.0 g/dL. This increased risk for mortality was supported by the results of a logistic model in which serum protein concentration was treated as a continuous variable. The increased risks associated with high serum protein concentration probably reflect the effect of dehydration in calves with occult disease. Neither model demonstrated any significant association between vaccination status and survival to 100 days of age. Based on these results, the routine immunization of calves cannot be recommended as a strategy to prevent mortality on farms with endemic salmonellosis.
This article was published in J Vet Intern Med
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