A group level analysis of the associations between antibodies to seven putative pathogens and respiratory disease and weight gain in Ontario feedlot calves


The associations, at the group level, between serological titer to Pasteurella haemolytica surface antigens (Ph), Pasteurella haemolytica cytotoxin (Ph-cytox), infectious bovine rhinotracheitis virus (IBRV), bovine virus diarrhea virus (BVDV), parainfluenza-3 virus (PIV3), respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), Mycoplasma dispar (Md), M. bovis (Mb), and respiratory disease treatment rates, relapse rates, and 28 day weight gains were investigated in 14 groups of calves entering two feedlots during years 1983-1985, in Ontario. Based on least squares regression analyses, seroconversion rates to Mb and BVDV were predictive of increased respiratory disease rates, and seroconversion rates to Ph, Ph-cytox, Md and PIV3 were predictive of decreased weight gains. The R2 for predicting weight gains was much higher than for morbidity rates (0.75 vs 0.47 respectively). Titer data were not predictive of relapse rates. Group level analyses were performed because calves are managed as groups (e.g. pens) in commercial feedlots. Only BVDV seroconversion rates were related to increased risk of respiratory disease at both the individual and group levels of organization. Mycoplasma may be important factors in causing respiratory disease, and their relationship to potentiating the effects of other respiratory pathogens needs further investigation.

Martin SW, Bateman KG, Shewen PE, Rosendal S, Bohac JG, and Thorburn M. Can J Vet Res. 1990 June; 54(3): 337–342.