Pasteurella Vaccination of Ewes
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Pasteurella haemolytica is a major contributor to neonatal pneumonia in lambs; which continues to be a major problem. Experimentation was conducted to determine the efficacy of vaccinating pregnant ewes to reduce the incidence of pneumonia in newborn lambs. Vaccines utilized in this experimentation included three different commercial Pasteurella haemolytica vaccines intended for use in cattle and an experimental vaccine prepared in our laboratory. Only one of the commercial vaccines increased levels of anti-Pasteurella antibodies in serum of the ewes at time of lambing, but lambs from all three groups of vaccinated ewes had higher levels of antibodies than control lambs. Some lambs in all groups developed pneumonia during the neonatal period.
Ewes administered the experimental vaccine had significantly higher levels of serum antibodies at lambing time. This increase was reflected in increased levels in serum of lambs from the vaccinated ewes. However, the antibodies appeared not to be protective, since as many lambs in the treatment group developed pneumonia as did in the control group.