Resilience of High Immune Responder Beef Cattle in the Context of Climate Change

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Authors

Husseini, Nasrin

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University of Guelph

Abstract

Animal health and welfare are important features of highly productive herds. Animal diseases result in loss of appetite, weight loss, and ultimately lower production with economic costs to the producer. Additionally, climate change with increases in ambient temperature and humidity can decrease livestock production and reproduction potential, as well as increase disease susceptibility. High (H) immune response (IR) dairy cattle, identified using the University of Guelph’s HIR™ methodology, have been reported to have fewer incidents of disease compared to average and low immune responders making immuno-phenotyped cattle an ideal model to examine the effects of global warming on health traits. Results of this thesis indicated that beef cattle can be immuno-phenotyped for antibody (AMIR) as early as 2-3 weeks of age, and cell-mediated immune response (CMIR) between 3 weeks and 9 months of age, using HIR™. Additionally, beef cows with high AMIR were able to regulate their body temperature better than average and low AMIR phenotypes.

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Keywords

Immune system, climate change, heat stress, HIR technology, Health

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