Protecting the Calf by Vaccinating the Cow

A calf cannot produce its own antibodies for one to two months, so the passive immunity  a calf receives from a cow’s colostrum is critical to its health and development according to Vigortone. In order to be effective, the colostrum must be consumed by the calf as soon as possible and definitely within the first 24 hours.

Colostrum can be frozen and used at a later date without a loss of quality. However, it is important to follow necessary guidelines, found on the Beef Site, when collecting and storing the colostrum.

Vaccinations boost the antibodies in the cow, which in turn will affect the calf when it consumes colostrum. As always, follow proper handling and storage techniques of vaccines to ensure effectiveness and safety according to MSU.

Get Ready to Protect Against Pink Eye

As the warm and wet summer weather heats up you will find that fly season is in full force. Face flies are a major cause of pink eye as they carry the main causal virus of the condition, Moraxella bovis. South Dakota State University says the spring season, before an outbreak, is the best time to be thinking about fly season and pink eye.

According to Merck Animal Health, a three-pronged education and prevention plan is most effective against flies and pink eye. The plan includes the education and monitoring of fly control, vaccination, and environmental management. Because pink eye is extremely contagious, initial prevention methods are particularly important in reducing your herd’s susceptibility.

Studies:  ENDOVAC-Bovi® in Lactating Dairy in Cows

(Summer 2007 Horton Research Center, Oxford Mountain Dairy)
Dr. David Hutcheson, Animal Nutritionist and Bovine Consultant, Animal Agricultural Consulting, Inc., P.O. Box 50367, Amarillo, TX  79159


Evaluate the effects of four bacterins’ administration on daily milk production, dry matter intake and somatic cell counts.


Mastitis occurs in 10% to 12% of all lactating cows in the United States, with 30% to 40% of mastitis cows have inflammation due to Escherichia coli. Mastitis costs U.S. dairy producers more than $1 billion annually. Diminished milk production, discarded milk, the need for replacement cows, the decreased sale value of cows, cost of drugs, veterinary services, and additional labor all contribute to the economic losses.

Endotoxemia results from the release of endotoxins through the death of Gram-negative bacteria, such as E. coli.  This occurs during phagocytosis by udder leukocytes or by the action of antimicrobials used in treatment. The clinical signs of coliform mastitis include serous secretion in the affected quarter or quarters, pyrexia, depression, anorexia, swelling and firmness of the affected quarter or quarters, ruminal hypomotility, muscle fasciculations, cold skin temperature, and diarrhea–all signs of endotoxemia.

Traditionally, treatment of coliform mastitis has been initiated only after the development of clinical illness. Therapy has been met with varying success.

The chief disadvantage of treatment initiated after clinical illness has developed is that the disease has frequently advanced to an irreversible state. Moreover, this treatment requires withholding the cow’s milk from market for days to weeks, depending on the type and amount of drug used to counter the infection. And even with successful treatment, only 20% of mastitis cows ever return to normal production; most are culled for agalactia. Also of recent concern is the development of drug-resistant salmonellae with the potential for entry into the food chain.

Two methods are currently available for decreasing the prevalence of coliform mastitis. First, better management of bedding and teat sanitation techniques decreases the exposure of teat ends to bacteria. Second, vaccination enhances the cow’s immunologic resistance to environmental bacteria.

Previously, vaccines were limited to three types: autogenous bacterial isolates expressing various specific antigens (K antigens or O-carbohydrate side chains), live vaccines composed of attenuated or deletion-modified bacteria, and polyvalent vaccines composed of the serotypes sometimes associated with mastitis.

Cross-protective vaccines have been manufactured using genetically engineered mutants such as the patented R/17 strain of Salmonella typhimurium and the J-5 strain of E. coli. A combination vaccine, ENDOVAC-Bovi® (IMMVAC), manufactured with the R/17 mutant and combined with an immune-potentiating adjuvant (IMMUNEPlus®), significantly reduces the devastating diseases caused by Gram-negative bacteria producing various endotoxins.

The use of ENDOVAC-Bovi® is the only core-antigen vaccine with a unique and effective immune stimulant. The patented IMMNEPlus® in combination with the mutant Re-17 bacterin protects against E. coli Mastitis and other endotoxin-mediated diseases caused by E. coli, Salmonella, Pasteurella multocida, and Pasteurella (mannheimia) hemolytica.


Mature dairy cows at least 60 days in milk were indentified and allotted to 4 milking groups. The four groups were randomly allotted to the bacterins:

  1. ENDOVAC-Bovi®
  2. J-5
  3. J-Vac
  4. Negative Controls

Cows were randomly allotted to the treatment groups by the last 2 digits of the cows ear tags number. Three hundred and fourteen cows were allotted to four treatment groups of 80 (ENDOVAC-Bovi®), 78 (J-5), 79 (J-Vac) and 77 (Negative Control) cows per group. The cows were penned in separate pens by treatment groups. The cows were fed from 1 to 26 days with the same ration to all treatment groups.  The ration fed was the standard ration being fed at the dairy for milking cows. The treatments were administered on day 8 by manufactures label dose for all treatments. The treatments were administered as shown in Table 1.

Table 1 Treatments and Mode of Administration

Treatment Vaccine Administration
1 ENDOVAC-Bovi® 2cc (IM)
2 J-5 5cc (SC)
3 J-Vac 2cc (IM)
4 Negative Control None


Daily milk records and dry matter feed records were collected from each cow during the 26 day experimental period and somatic cell counts (SCC).

Results and Discussion

Table 2 shows the means and standard deviations for dry matter consumption by treatments and pre and post vaccination. There were no significant differences in dry matter consumption among the treatments either pre to or post vaccination.

Table 2. Dry matter consumption, Pre and Post Vaccination

Treatments ENDOVAC-Bovi® J-5 J-Vac Negative Control P value

Pre to Vaccination (7 days)

Mean 58.2 56.2 58.5 57.1 0.34
STD 2.8 1.9 3.4 1.8  

Post Vaccination (19 days)

Mean 59.3 59.3 60.1 58.5 0.50
STD 2.5 3.3 3.8 2.7  

Milk production was significantly higher for the cows to be administered J-5 and negative control pre test, Table 3. However no differences in milk production were detected after vaccination for any treatments.

Table 3. Milk Production, Pre and Post Vaccination.

Treatments ENDOVAC-Bovi® J-5 J-Vac Negative Control P value

Pre to Vaccination (7 days)

Mean 98.9b 101.2a 98.9b 100.5a 0.01
STD 1.7 1.3 1.2 1.0  

Post Vaccination (19 days)

Mean 99.6 100.6 99.9 100.1 0.62
STD 1.9 2.2 2.5 1.8  

Somatic Cell Counts were significantly higher for the group to be administered ENDOVAC-Bovi® than the J-Vac group pre vaccination. The J-5 was the lowest SCC but was not different from J-5 and Negative control pre vaccination. After vaccination the ENDOVAC-Bovi® group was significantly lower than other vaccination groups or negative control (Table 4).The ENDOVAC-Bovi® group proved to be the most effective control of mastitis as measured by SCC.

Table 4. Somatic Cell Counts (SCC), Pre and Post Vaccination.

Treatments ENDOVAC-Bovi® J-5 J-Vac Negative Control P value

Pre to Vaccination (7 days)

Mean 121.1a 94.9a,b 64.5b 89.4a,b 0.03
STD 48.3 41.4 10.4 9.2  

Post Vaccination (19 days)

Mean 81.8a 126.3b 118.7b 136.0b 0.01
STD 25.2 44.7 35.2 40.03  


  • ENDOVAC-Bovi® significantly lower somatic cell counts thereby decreasing mastitis in lactating dairy cow.
  • ENDOVAC-Bovi® had no effect on milk production in lactating dairy cows.
  • ENDOVAC-Bovi® had no effect on dry matter intake in the lactating dairy cow.

Studies:  ENDOVAC-BEEF® in Feedlot Beef Steers

Dr. David Hutcheson, Animal Nutritionist and Bovine Consultant, Animal Agricultural Consulting, Inc., P.O. Box 50367, Amarillo, TX 79159

(The 2007-2008 trials were conducted at the Knight Feedlot, Inc., 1768 Ave. J, Lyons, KS 67554)


To evaluate the effects of ENDOVAC-Beef® bacterin-toxoid (manufactured by IMMVAC INCORPORATED, 6080 Bass Lane, Columbia, Missouri 65201) administration to feedlot steers on feedlot performance and carcass quality.


Gram-negative endotoxemia contributes to the signs associated with diarrheal septicemias, and pneumonias in cattle. The classic signs of endotoxemia are depression of the central nervous system, hypernea, dyspnea, anorexia, pyrexia, and leukopenia followed by leukocytosis; recent studies have confirmed that these signs are consistent in response to sub lethal doses of endotoxins.

So a logical approach to formulating an efficacious vaccine would be to use a single vaccine that induces the immune system to produce antibodies that cross- protect against Gram-negative bacteria and their endotoxins. Specific R-mutants of Salmonella and E. coli , although generally poor quality antigens per se, have been found to provide such cross-protection against septicemias from various Gram-negative infections. The antibodies produced by these mutant bacterin vaccines have provided cross-protection to cows, either naturally challenged or arbitrarily challenged in the laboratory. This is especially true when the mutant bacterin is coupled with an effective immune-stimulant such as IMMUNEPlus® incorporated in ENDOVAC-Beef®, that enhances the level of antibodies produced in the host.

An enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) of sera from control and vaccinated calves showed that antibodies produced in response to ENDOVAC-Beef®, a mutant Salmonella typhimurium bacterin-toxoid significantly attenuated the clinical responses to Escherichia coli, Pasteurella multocida, and Mannheimia (formerly Pasteurella) hemolytica endotoxins (Agri. Practice 11:29-34, 1990; Agri. Practice 12:1-4, 1991).

Many clinically evident endotoxemias are associated with Gram-negative septicemias arising from E. coli and Salmonella diarrheas; and/or Pasteurella multocida and Mannheimia hemolytica pneumonias. Veterinarians and Nutritionists have suspected for years that sub-clinical endotoxemia in beef cattle in feedlots on high carbohydrate rations have elevated endotoxins in their blood which somehow hamper maximal feed conversion and optimal weight gain.


Two field trials were conducted with steers from the same source each year. In 2007, there were 300 steers used in 2 pens for the trial and in 2008 there were 128 steers used in the trial. Each year the steers were allotted to two groups, either those vaccinated with two doses of ENDOVAC-Beef® (1-2mL dose at conditioning, and a 2nd -2mL dose on entering the feedlot), or those that did not receive ENDOVAC-Beef® (non-vaccinated). The steers were co-mingled both in the conditioning and feedlot phases of both trials, and fed standard feedlot rations for the duration of the trial. In 2008 carcass data was also collected. Data was collected at the end of each feeding period by pens. Performance and carcass data was analyzed by Analysis of Variance techniques. Performance data was analyzed by pens. Carcass data was analyzed by individual carcasses. Chi Square analysis was used to analyze carcass count data.

Results and Discussion

Data was pooled for the performance data over two years. Table 1 shows the individual years and the pooled means for the field trial.

Table 1 Performance Data 2007-2008

Year Number Days On Feed Weight In, Pounds Weight Out Pounds Dry Matter Intake Average Daily Gain Feed to Gain


2007 147 97 789 1293 26.9 5.19 5.19
2008 91 164 660 1435 24.3 4.38 5.54
Means 119 130 724 1364 25.4 4.76 5.36

Non Vaccinates

2007 153 97 741 1107 22.6 3.77 5.98
2008 37 164 660 1335 24.6 4.11 5.98
Means 95 130 700 1221 23.6 3.84 5.98


Vaccinates 119 130 724 1364 25.4 4.76 5.36
Non Vaccinates 95 130 700 1221 23.6 3.84 5.98
P Value     0.78 0.40 0.40 0.21 0.07

Cattle administer ENDOVAC-Beef® had the best feed to gain ratio (5.36 pounds of dry matter feed per pound of gain) and is significantly different at P =0.07 than the non-vaccinates (5.98). The ENDOVAC-Beef® vaccinates average daily gain was higher (4.76 lbs per day) compared to non- vaccinates (3.84 lbs per day), P=0.21.

Table 2 shows carcass data for the cattle fed in2008.
(Carcass Data for 2008 Trial)

Item Vaccinate Mean Non Vaccinate Mean P Value
Number 90 126  
Stun Weight 1409 1324 0.001
Carcass Weight 915 861 0.001
Dressing Percent 64.9 % 65.1% 0.49
Fat Thickness 0.54 0.52 0.38
Ribeye Square Inches 14.5 13.9 0.005
Yield Grade 3.33 3.26 0.42
  Chi Square analysis    
Prime 3 (3.33%) 8 (6.35%) 0.32
Mid Choice Plus 40 (44.44%) 71 (56.35%) 0.08
Choice 35 (38.89 %) 38 (30.16%) 0.18
Choice and Prime 78 (86.67 %) 117 (92.86%) 0.13
Select 10 (11.11%) 9 (7.14%) 0.31
Standard 2 (2.22%) 0 (0.00%) 0.09

The carcass weight were significantly (P= 0.001) higher for ENDOVAC-Beef® vaccinates by 54 pounds. The ribeye area was significantly larger for ENDOVAC-Beef® vaccinated cattle by 0.6 square inches. The increase in ribeye area may have been due to the significant higher carcass weight for ENDOVAC-Beef® vaccinated cattle.


1. ENDOVAC-Beef® improves feed to gain ratio in finishing steers
2. ENDOVAC-Beef® improves average daily gains in finishing steers
3. ENDOVAC-Beef® vaccinated steers showed increased carcass weights
4. ENDOVAC-Beef® suppressed endotoxemias and improved overall performance

FAQ:  When should ENDOSERUM be used?

When administered to horses, ENDOSERUM® increases circulating levels of IgG anti-endotoxin antibodies. Administration of ENDOSERUM® should be considered when clinical signs and/or laboratory data indicate impending or ongoing Gram-negative endotoxemia in adult horses or foals. Specific indications include foals that have failed to receive adequate passive transfer of Gram negative maternal antibodies via colostrum, horses recovering from abdominal surgery, horses suffering from Gram negative bacteremia, Gram negative metritis, Gram negative diarrhea and gastrointestinal disorders due to carbohydrate overload. Because of the severe responses Gram negative endotoxins cause in horses, early diagnosis and treatment are of utmost importance.

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