Antibody Response to Inactivated Viral Vaccines Administered to Calves at Weaning

  • Dennis Maxwell (Iowa State University)
  • Kevan Flaming (Iowa State University)
  • Merlin Kaeberle (Iowa State University)


Respiratory disease in beef calves has been associated with the stress of weaning. Management practices commonly delay vaccination of calves to this time, and weaning stress could potentially suppress the immune response. To reduce this stress we have been experimenting with a procedure termed “pasture weaning” in which the dams are removed and the calves remain on pasture. Observation suggests that calves weaned with this approach adapt to the weaned state much better than those held in drylot. Consequently, one would expect less stress-mediated effects including those on the immune system. Calves were weaned and assigned to groups that were pasture or drylot weaned, and calves within the groups were vaccinated with one of two inactivated virus vaccines by either the intramuscular or subcutaneous route. Weaning placement did not affect antibody responses to the viruses included in the vaccines. The route of administration did not influence responses with subcutaneous injection inducing responses equivalent to the intramuscular site. Utilization of this route for vaccination could be advantageous because it precludes the tissue damage and hidden abscessation that sometimes results from intramuscular injections. A distinct difference was noted in the immunogenicity of the vaccines with the Vira Shield product yielding significantly better responses to all viral entities.

Keywords: ASL R1645

How to Cite:

Maxwell, D., Flaming, K. & Kaeberle, M., (2000) “Antibody Response to Inactivated Viral Vaccines Administered to Calves at Weaning”, Iowa State University Animal Industry Report 1(1).

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Published on
01 Jan 2000
Peer Reviewed