Protocol for a systematic review of disease control strategies used to prevent infectious mortality and morbidity in pre-weaned beef calves
It is essential to optimize the production of calves in order to maximize economic returns to producers and the availability of feeder cattle and replacement stock for the industry. Morbidity and mortality in beef calves have negative impacts on beef operations and are associated with considerable economic damage (2,3). By implementing effective disease control strategies, morbidity and mortality caused by Bovine Respiratory Disease (BRD) and Neonatal Calf Diarrhea (NCD) may be reduced. Studies have shown that failed transfer of passive immunity (3–7), season of birth (8), herd size (2,3), assistance at calving (3,9), and purchasing adult cattle and using community pastures (10) are risk factors for morbidity and mortality in calves. Disease control strategies are an essential component of the health management of beef herds (11) and some preventive practices have shown financial benefits (12). Herd demographics and management practices alter the epidemiology of disease within the herd (13), with various strategies aiming to improve the animal environment, boost the immune system (14), and diminish animal exposure to potential pathogens (15). Risk factors associated with the multifactorial syndromes of BRD and NCD have been explored mainly in dairy calves (5–8), but there are a limited number of studies related to beef calves (16) and no efforts to summarize the available literature have been reported. A systematic review of the current scientific literature will be conducted focusing on colostrum management, vaccination strategies, biosecurity, biocontainment, metaphylactic use of antibiotics, and other strategies used to prevent mortality and morbidity caused by BRD and NCD in pre-weaned beef calves. To the best of our knowledge, there is no published systematic review on disease control strategies used in beef calves during the preweaning stage.
Beef Cattle Research Council, Results Driven Agriculture Research, and the University of Calgary Faculty of Veterinary Medicine
Veterinary epidemiology, Veterinary medicine
Sanguinetti, V. M., Ganshorn, H., Agbese, S., Windeyer, M.C. (2021). Protocol for a systematic review of disease control strategies used to prevent infectious mortality and morbidity in pre-weaned beef calves. PRISM Repository.