The objectives of this study were to determine whether plane of nutrition (PON) of milk replacer previously provided to calves, and dosage level of Mannheimia haemolytica (MH), influenced inflammatory responses to a combined viral-bacterial respiratory challenge. Holstein calves (1 d of age; n = 30) were assigned to treatments in a 2 × 3 factorial with pre-weaning PON and MH dose as main effects (n = 5 per treatment). Calves were fed either a low (LPN; n = 15) or a high PON (HPN; n = 15) from birth through weaning. Calves fed LPN were fed 436 g of dry matter (DM) per day of milk replacer until weaning, and HPN calves were fed 797 g of DM per day of milk replacer from d 1 to 10 and 1,080 g of DM per day from d 11 until weaning. Calf starter and water were offered ad libitum. Calves were step-down weaned beginning at d 54 and moved into an enclosed barn at d 70. Indwelling rectal temperature (RT) recording devices and jugular catheters were inserted at d 80. Calves were challenged with 1.5 × 108 plaque-forming units (pfu) per mL of bovine herpesvirus-1 (BHV-1) in each nostril at d 81 and with either 106, 107, or 108 cfu of MH at d 84. Blood samples were collected at varying intervals relative to BHV-1 and MH challenges. Four LPN calves either died or were euthanized soon after the 144-h observation period, whereas all HPN calves survived the entire observation period. As dosage of MH administered increased, acute and systemic inflammatory responses increased. Higher doses of MH resulted in increased leukocyte, neutrophil, and haptoglobin concentrations in infected calves. Data from the current study suggest that the highest dose, 108 cfu, triggered weaned calves' acute disease response, whereas the lower doses, 106 and 107 cfu, caused more moderate inflammation and disease. The effects of PON on inflammation responses to the disease challenge indicated that calves previously fed the LPN diet had more severe pathophysiological responses. Calves fed LPN showed higher peripheral neutrophil and leukocyte counts and serum haptoglobin concentrations following the BHV-1 challenge. Additionally, following the MH challenge, LPN calves had higher peripheral neutrophil counts, neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratios, and serum tumor necrosis factor-α concentrations. These data demonstrate that higher doses of MH increase the acute inflammatory response and prolong inflammation, and that calves previously fed LPN responded more severely to the combined viral-bacterial respiratory challenge.
- respiratory disease