Jacobs Journal of Veterinary Science and Research

Supplementing Neonatal Jersey Calves with a Blend of Probiotic Bacteria Improves the Pathophysiological Response to an Oral Salmonella Enterica Serotype Typhimurium Challenge

*Yu Liang
Department Of Animal And Food Sciences, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, United States

*Corresponding Author:
Yu Liang
Department Of Animal And Food Sciences, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, United States

Published on: 2019-08-19


The objectives of the current study were to determine the impacts of supplementing a blend of probiotic bacteria (PROVIDA Calf, MB Nutritional Sciences, Lubbock, TX) on the pathophysiological response to an oral Salmonella enterica serotype Typhimurium challenge in neonatal Jersey calves. Twenty four Jersey bull calves within 24 hours of birth were acquired from a local calf ranch, blocked by total serum protein and initial BW, and randomly assigned to 1 of 3 treatments. Calves were assigned to either (1) Control (CON); base milk replacer, (2) Control + Salmonella typhimurium (CON+ST); base milk replacer and challenged with Salmonella typhimurium on day 7; or (3) PROVIDA Calf probiotics + Salmonella typhimurium (PRO+ST); milk replacer supplemented with a blend of Lactobacillus casei and Enterococcus faecium strains and challenged with Salmonella typhimurium on day 7. The PRO+ST calves were supplemented for the first 3 days with 2 x 1010 CFU / day and then reduced to 2 x 109 CFU / day for the remainder of the study. The CON+ST and PRO+ST calves were each challenged with approximately 5 x 106 CFU of Salmonella typhimurium (ATCC# 14028). Peripheral blood samples were collected on days 0, 7, 10, 14, and 21 and analyzed for hematology and serum was collected and analyzed for haptoglobin, glucose, and urea N. Rectal temperatures were collected daily from days 6 to 21, when all calves were harvested, so persistent colonization of the Salmonella typhimurium and histomorphology of both the duodenum and ileum could be determined. Serum haptoglobin and urea nitrogen concentrations were increased (P≤0.038) among CON+ST on day 10. In contrast, the PRO+ST had greater (P≤0.004) rectal temperatures following the Salmonella typhimurium challenge. Further, neutrophil percentages in peripheral circulation were greater (P≤0.050) on day 10 among PRO+ST when compared to either the CON or CON+ST. Among the PRO+ST calves, 7 of the 8 calves had elevated neutrophil percentage on day 10 relative to day 7, whereas 4 of the 8 calves among the CON+ST had reduced neutrophil percentage on day 10 relative to day 7. Villi height to crypt depth ratios in the duodenum (P≤0.070) were greater among CON and PRO+ST calves, whereas in the ileum the PRO+ST calves had greater villi height to crypt depth (P≤0.001) than both the CON and CON+ST calves. These data indicate that supplementing neonatal calves with the blend of probiotic bacteria used in the current study can influence the pathophysiological response to an enteric Salmonella typhimurium challenge.


Calf; Health; Probotic


Newborn dairy calves are extremely susceptible to gastrointestinal diseases. The mortality rate of pre-weaned dairy heifers is 7.8% (NAHMS, 2007), and scours and other digestive problems accounted for the main cause of deaths. Additionally, NAHMS (2011) reported that 71.8% of calves with scours were treated with antimicrobials. Probiotic bacteria were widely investigated as daily supplements for dairy calves, especially during times of potential stress including the neonatal period, weaning, and moving to group housing. However, only a few studies investigated the effects of probiotic bacteria on calves challenged with an enteric pathogenic bacteria like Salmonella enterica.