Age of Dam Affects Maternal Antibodies in Calf

US – Researchers have data suggesting the age of dam effects calf immunity and response to vaccination.
calendar icon 2 October 2013
clock icon 1 minute read

The study showed that maternal antibody levels increased with the age of the dam until six years of age, at which point they levelled off.

Dr James Reecy and his team from Iowa State University tested 1,004 Angus calves for Bovine Viral Diarrhea virus for which two modified live vaccines were issued and antibody levels evaluated.

The team was keen to investigate the area because maternal antibody levels have been known to affect the antibody response to vaccinations.

United States Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service Microbiologist, Dr Julia Ridpath, said the study can give producers a model for balancing the level of antibodies from mother and the immune systems natural vaccination response.

“This finding is important because while passive antibodies protect calves from disease until their own immune systems are ready to take over, the presence of passive antibodies may prevent calves from responding to vaccination,” explained Dr Ridpath.

This article is titled “An evaluation of circulating bovine viral diarrhea virus type 2 maternal antibody level and response to vaccination in Angus calves.” It can be read in full at the

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