Past Project

Stimulating innate immune Reponses to prevent pneumonia in beef cattle

Executive Summary

The intent of this project is to identify how factors that predispose to bacterial pneumonia (stress and viral infection) reduce expression of antimicrobial peptides in cattle, and to use this knowledge to develop a new intervention to prevent pneumonia by stimulating this innate immune response.

Development of a method to stimulate antimicrobial peptide production is expected to reduce the occurrence of pneumonia in beef cattle, reduce the need for preventative use of antibiotics, and improve the welfare of stressed, disease-prone calves.

These studies are essential for efficiently identifying the best pathways to target for enhancing innate immunity in calves, to prevent the stress-associated reductions in innate defences.  The goal is to stimulate innate immunity in disease-susceptible feedlot cattle, which would prevent disease and reduce the current reliance on preventative antibiotic use in beef production.

Expected Completion:        2015

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