Type: Chapter

Advances in understanding immune response in dairy cattle


Bonnie Mallard

University of Guelph

Mehdi Emam

University of Guelph

Shannon Cartwright

University of Guelph

Tess Altvater-Hughes

University of Guelph

Alexandra Livernois

University of Guelph

Lauri Wagter-Lesperance

University of Guelph


Publication date:

17 May 2021

ID: 9781801461498

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From the beginning, cattle have made important contributions to the field of immunology, including the development of the first Mycobacterium bovis BCG vaccine for human tuberculosis in 1921. In 1981 the first report of a biosynthesized polypeptide vaccine against Foot and Mouth Disease Virus (FMDV) using the VP3 protein expressed in Escherichia coli (E. coli) was made for cattle. Cattle also possess a substantial proportion of T cells expressing the γδ T-cell receptor which helped to elucidate the role of these unique cells in host defence. More recently, it was discovered that cattle produce antibodies with ultra-long Complementarity Determining Region (CDR) - 3. This seminal finding has allowed the production of bovine therapeutic broadly neutralizing antibodies with ultra-long CDRs to passively treat various virial infections in humans and play a key role in protecting cattle. This chapter will review advances in bovine immunology, particularly as it relates to dairy cattle.

Table of contents

1 Introduction
2 Genetics for dairy health
3 Epigenetics
4 Heat stress, climate change and immunity
5 Crossbreeding and immunity in dairy cattle
6 Colostrum and calf health
7 Conclusion
8 Where to look for further information
9 References