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Bacterins for cattle

Posted: Fri Sep 08, 2017 7:18 am
by Bright Raven
This is somewhat of a generalization but  Vaccines are more effective against viruses than they are against bacteria.  And antibiotics don't work on viruses.

I had a discussion with a veterinarian in Missouri who is skeptical of some of the cattle vaccines for Bacteria (bacterins not toxoids).  He is even more skeptical of cattle vaccines for protozoan parasites such as Trichomonas.

 The primary reason vaccines are more effective against viruses is because viruses are simple.  They consist of a capsule which encloses a single strand of DNA or RNA with many fewer proteins than a bacterium.  So immunologist are better able to isolate the antigens that might provoke a productive immune response (read produce antibodies).

There is also a practical reason, more effort is put into viral vaccines because antibiotics are not effective against viruses. 

Antibiotics are simply chemicals, meaning they do not work through the immune system.  Happens to be my son's profession.  It is more difficult in simple terms to formulate small molecules to destroy/disable viruses than it is bacteria. 
So scientist have concentrated on vaccine development for viruses rather than chemicals to kill/disable them.

The catch is that drug companies have marketed vaccines against bacteria in cattle, for example the vaccines against Moraxella (primary cause of pinkeye), that may have little or no effectiveness. They probably could not get away with this in humans because the standards/regulations prevent it.

Now toxoids versus bacterins is a horse of a different color.

Re: Bacterins for cattle

Posted: Fri Sep 08, 2017 7:52 am
by dun
I thought bacterins were camels

Re: Bacterins for cattle

Posted: Fri Sep 08, 2017 8:12 am
by Bright Raven
dun wrote:I thought bacterins were camels


There is a camel of that kind. 2 humped camel I believe.

Re: Bacterins for cattle

Posted: Fri Sep 08, 2017 8:25 am
by Son of Butch
dun wrote:I thought bacterins were camels

Learn something new everyday.

Re: Bacterins for cattle

Posted: Fri Sep 08, 2017 10:42 am
by dun
I looked it up, it's Bactrian camel, 2 humps.

Re: Bacterins for cattle

Posted: Fri Sep 08, 2017 11:33 am
by RanchMan90
Makes sense. I've got a little batch of chronic calves that all antibiotics have been ineffective on, may be a virus.

Re: Bacterins for cattle

Posted: Fri Sep 08, 2017 11:39 am
by Bright Raven
RanchMan90 wrote:Makes sense. I've got a little batch of chronic calves that all antibiotics have been ineffective on, may be a virus.


My vet, Dr. Darrin Stanfield, is very passionate about the indiscriminate use of antibiotics. He says lots of Cattleman get a favorite antibiotic in their head and they get upset if he tells them they are using it for the wrong infectious organism. He says lots of cattleman use an antibiotic, the cow gets well and they think everything should be treated with that antibiotic. And if it is a virus, most antibiotics don't work. There are antivirals but personally, I have never heard of them being used for cattle.

Re: Bacterins for cattle

Posted: Fri Sep 08, 2017 12:12 pm
by RanchMan90
It's certainly a learning experience. So viruses can only be prevented not treated in cattle?

Re: Bacterins for cattle

Posted: Fri Sep 08, 2017 12:16 pm
by Bright Raven
RanchMan90 wrote:It's certainly a learning experience. So viruses can only be prevented not treated in cattle?


Almost without exception, an infectious virus disease can only be prevented, not treated with an antibiotic. Best measure is prevention.

A question for Lucky_P. I know antivirals are used to treat viruses in humans like HIV, but I never heard of using them in cattle. Do you know of any use of antivirals in cattle?

Re: Bacterins for cattle

Posted: Fri Sep 08, 2017 12:45 pm
by dun
RanchMan90 wrote:It's certainly a learning experience. So viruses can only be prevented not treated in cattle?

I think most of the time when treating for virus you are actauly treating for the possibility of further illness because of the weakened immune system stemming from the virus affects. Supportive therapy I think it's referred to as.

Re: Bacterins for cattle

Posted: Fri Sep 08, 2017 1:11 pm
by Workinonit Farm
Antibiotics, some treat gram negative and some treat gram positive "bacteria". Another reason for knowing just what it is you are trying to "treat".

Re: Bacterins for cattle

Posted: Fri Sep 08, 2017 1:22 pm
by J&D Cattle
RanchMan90 wrote:Makes sense. I've got a little batch of chronic calves that all antibiotics have been ineffective on, may be a virus.


Do you PI test the calves you get in? I've got a buddy that buys quite a few calves and he's religious about it.

Re: Bacterins for cattle

Posted: Fri Sep 08, 2017 1:41 pm
by Lucky_P
There is interest in antivirals in veterinary medicine, but most has been limited to extrapolation of use of human drugs in companion animals (dogs, cats).
Cost is probably going to be a major issue with regard to use of antivirals in food animals... but considerations will also include effectiveness, possible toxicities - both to the animal and the environment, meat/milk residues and withdrawal times, etc.

Re: Bacterins for cattle

Posted: Fri Sep 08, 2017 1:53 pm
by RanchMan90
J&D Cattle wrote:
RanchMan90 wrote:Makes sense. I've got a little batch of chronic calves that all antibiotics have been ineffective on, may be a virus.


Do you PI test the calves you get in? I've got a buddy that buys quite a few calves and he's religious about it.

No. May look into it. Not sure what the costs are.

Re: Bacterins for cattle

Posted: Fri Sep 08, 2017 4:25 pm
by Jeanne - Simme Valley
All my heifers & bulls are BVD-PI tested. It's easy & cheap. I have been doing it for many years. There aren't very many females in my herd that have not been tested other than a few really old cows.
Viruses for humans & people cannot be treated, that is why vaccination is crucial.