Impact of preweaning vaccination on host gene expression and antibody titers in healthy beef calves. Academic Article uri icon


  • The impact of preweaning vaccination for bovine respiratory viruses on cattle health and subsequent bovine respiratory disease morbidity has been widely studied yet questions remain regarding the impact of these vaccines on host response and gene expression. Six randomly selected calves were vaccinated twice preweaning (T1 and T3) with a modified live vaccine for respiratory pathogens and 6 randomly selected calves were left unvaccinated. Whole blood samples were taken at first vaccination (T1), seven days later (T2), at revaccination and castration (T3), and at weaning (T4), and utilized for RNA isolation and sequencing. Serum from T3 and T4 was analyzed for antibodies to BRSV, BVDV1a, and BHV1. Sequenced RNA for all 48 samples was bioinformatically processed with a HISAT2/StringTie pipeline, utilizing reference guided assembly with the ARS-UCD1.2 bovine genome. Differentially expressed genes were identified through analyzing the impact of time across all calves, influence of vaccination across treatment groups at each timepoint, and the interaction of time and vaccination. Calves, regardless of vaccine administration, demonstrated an increase in gene expression over time related to specialized proresolving mediator production, lipid metabolism, and stimulation of immunoregulatory T-cells. Vaccination was associated with gene expression related to natural killer cell activity and helper T-cell differentiation, enriching for an upregulation in Th17-related gene expression, and downregulated genes involved in complement system activity and coagulation mechanisms. Type-1 interferon production was unaffected by the influence of vaccination nor time. To our knowledge, this is the first study to evaluate mechanisms of vaccination and development in healthy calves through RNA sequencing analysis.

published proceedings

  • Front Vet Sci

altmetric score

  • 1.75

author list (cited authors)

  • Scott, M. A., Woolums, A. R., Karisch, B. B., Harvey, K. M., & Capik, S. F.

citation count

  • 2

publication date

  • January 2022