Rotavirus disease can intensify within a herd when infected calves shed the pathogen into the environment, exposing and infecting other calves. A recent study by Dr. Andy Skidmore*, in collaboration with Dr. Jan Gawthrop, evaluated if First Defense Tri-Shield, a polyclonal antibody scours preventative, could reduce rotavirus shedding. Results showed First Defense Tri-Shield significantly reduced rotavirus shedding versus control calves, which all achieved successful passive transfer from a quality colostrum feeding.
The study enrolled 20 calves, separating them into two treatment groups. The first group of 10 calves received one 30-cc tube of First Defense Tri-Shield followed by four liters of pooled colostrum. Representing the control group, the next 10 calves received a placebo tube and four liters of pooled colostrum. The veterinary staff administering the tubes and recording data were blinded to the difference in treatments. On Day 6, all calves were challenged with live rotavirus. Health scores, including fecal scores, were recorded twice daily on days 8, 10, 14 and 18.
“While First Defense Tri-Shield is proven to reduce scours caused by K99+ E. coli and bovine coronavirus, plus reduce the severity and duration of scours caused by rotavirus, this study confirms that it also significantly reduces rotavirus shedding,” says Bobbi Brockmann, Vice President of Sales and Marketing with ImmuCell. “Producers now can limit the environmental pathogen load, reduce the level of disease challenges herd mates are exposed to and reduce the frequency and severity of scour outbreaks.”