Cattle botulism is a food-borne intoxication caused by the ingestion of preformed botulinum neurotoxins (BoNT) of serotypes B, C, or D. Protection in cattle against botulinum intoxication is based on the presence of specific serum neutralizing antibodies upon exposure. Outbreaks in vaccinated cattle have raised concerns about vaccine quality and efficacy. To this end, three different immunization protocols and the effect of maternal anti-BoNT/D antibodies, at the priming dose, were analyzed in 2-month-old dairy calves. Based on previously determined protective anti-BoNT/D antibody levels analyzed in field outbreaks, the immune response to type D toxoids was analyzed using an in-house ELISA system. Here we show that using the current vaccination strategy of using a priming dose in 2-month-old calves followed by booster doses after 4 weeks and annually thereafter, did not result in continuous protective levels of anti-BoNT/D antibodies. As a result of this vaccination protocol, only 15-31% of cattle in parities 1-3 were protected at the time of the annual booster. Vaccination study in calves indicated that adding a 6-month booster dose to the current protocol resulted in continuous protective levels of anti-BoNT/D antibodies well above the cut-off protective levels. The presence of maternally derived anti-BoNT/D antibodies did not interfere with the immune response to toxoids that can be administered to 2-month-old calves.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This study was supported by a grant from the Israel Dairy Board.
- Botulinum toxoid
- Maternal immunity
- Vaccination protocol