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Effect of FMD vaccination schedule of dams on the level and duration of maternally derived antibodies

Sareyyupoglu, B.
Gulyaz, V.
Cokcaliskan, C.
Unal, Y.
Cokulgen, T.
Uzunlu, E.
Gurcan, S.
İlk Dağ, Özlem
Vaccination against Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) in pregnant cows is crucial to produce greater immunity in new born calves, especially in late gestation, as this directly affects neonatal immunity. Therefore, we aimed to investigate how late gestation FMD vaccination of pregnant cows affects the maternally derived antibodies in their offspring. Pregnant cows were vaccinated with and without booster vaccination during the 3rd months (early gestation vaccination, EGV) or the 6.5th months (late gestation vaccination, LGV). Their offspring were investigated for passive immunity transfer, maternal antibody duration, and the first vaccination age of calves (when the maternal antibody has waned sufficiently to allow the first vaccination). Antibody titers were analyzed by a virus neutralization test (VNT). A digital Brix refractometer (% Brix) was used to estimate passive antibody transfer efficiency measuring total protein (TP) content of calf blood sera and also colostrum IgG content. Two linear mixed effects models were fitted: one for the antibody titer values of the dams, and the other for the antibody titer values of calves before the vaccination. A marginal fixed effects model was also fitted to explore the effects of the dam titers on the antibody titers of the calves after their vaccinations. As a result, the average neutralizing antibody titers did not differ between the EGV and LGV groups nor were any differences detected between dams that received a booster and those that were not boosted. However, the LGV calves' mean maternally derived antibody titers were significantly higher (p-values = 0.0001 for both groups) and the duration was longer than that of the EGV calves (120 days in LGV, 60 days in EGV, p < 0.05). Since no statistical difference was found between the titers of either group of dams at the beginning of the experiment and parturition, it does not appear that the higher VN titers in LGV calves compared to titers in EGV are directly related to the circulating antibody levels in the dams. Furthermore, the TP value (% Brix) of calf blood sera was higher than > 8.4% in both calf groups (9.3 +/- 0.33 in LGV and 8.6 +/- 0.40 in EGV, p > 0.05) indicating that passive immunity transfer had occurred for both groups. In addition, we found that the % Brix mean colostrum IgG content of the LGV (25.8 +/- 1.30) was higher than the EGV (21.8 +/- 0.58) dams (p < 0.01) and a significant positive correlation found between the colostrum density of LGV dams and TP (% Brix) value of their offspring (r = 0.73, p < 0.01). Our results show that vaccination during the late gestation period increased the colostrum IgG content of dams of LGV in addition to the maternally derived antibody duration and potentially provided greater protection of the offspring.