Modulation of innate immune function and phenotype in bred dairy heifers during the periparturient period induced by feeding an immunostimulant 60 days prior to delivery
Nace, Elizabeth Lee
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This study evaluated the effect of a feed supplement (OmniGen-AF®) on the innate immunity and health events in dairy heifers. For 60 days prepartum, supplemented heifers (n=20) received OmniGen-AF® daily and were compared with unsupplemented controls (n=20). Blood leukocyte phenotype markers, phagocytic activity, and reactive oxygen species (ROS) production were evaluated pre- and postpartum; health parameters and milk production were also measured postpartum. Leukocyte expression of CH62L, and phagocytosis of E. coli an S. aureus from supplemented heifers were greated than controls (p = 0.10), while ROS production was greater among controls (p = 0.10). Supplemented heifers exhibited fewer adverse health events than controls (p = 0.143) and a lower mastiis rate (p = 0.098). Results demonstrated a positive role of OmniGen-AF® in amplifying leukocyte function consistent with antibacterial activity during the periparturient period and support the continued study of ditary supplementation to enhance mammary gland health in diary cows.