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Preventing Calf Scours - The New Player in the Game

Vaccinates against neonatal calf scours caused by Bovine Rotavirus, Coronavirus & E Coli
Biobos RCC scour vaccine

Calf Scours are extremely frustrating, time consuming and obviously not good for a calf’s health or development. Prevention and control can be equally frustrating and there are a variety of products out there, making it a confusing space. Fortunately, there is now a 1-shot vaccine, with little-to-no tissue site reaction, which has fantastic efficacy against scours when calves drink colostrum from vaccinated cows. It has been released by the NZ owned animal health company Agrihealth and is called BioBos RCC.

There are many options on the market to vaccinate against neonatal calf scours; Rotavec, Rotagal, Scourguard, Kolibin Neo, etc. Some are 2 shots, some cause tissue reactions, some have little research behind them, and some are cost prohibitive. New this year from NZ animal health company Agrihealth is Biobos RCC, which protects calves against Rotavirus, Coronavirus & E Coli.

Biobos is administered to in-calf cows 3-12 weeks prior to calving. When calves drink colostrum from vaccinated cows it provides them with passive immunity against these diseases, preventing neonatal scours, and reducing viral shedding to unprotected calves.

Biobos is a once-yearly, 2ml intramuscular injection, formulated in a tissue-friendly adjuvent which greatly reduces tissue reactions at the injection site.

Biobos has shown incredible efficacy in challenge studies, which means that animals were deliberately infected with diseases after vaccination to challenge their immunity. In this trial, one group of calves received colostrum from vaccinated cows and a second group of calves received colostrum from unvaccinated cows. Both groups were infected with E-coli at 12 hours old, and with rotavirus & coronavirus at 7 days old. Here is a snapshot of the challenge study outcomes below:

Challenge study outcomes -

  • None of the calves fed colostrum from vaccinated dams developed diarrhoea

  • Conversely, every single calf that was unprotected had diarrhoea for at least 3 days.

    • This included 14 out of these 15 calves experiencing moderate or severe diarrhoea for at least one day of the study period.

    • Furthermore 10 calves had severe diarrhoea and 3 calves died.

    • In addition, 3 of the 12 surviving calves stilll had diarrhoea at the end of the study period.

Daily viral shedding from calves consuming colostrum from vaccinated dams was reduced by up to 185 times compared to calves fed from non-vaccinated dams for bovine rotavirus and for coronavirus.

This reduced viral shedding would presumably result in substantially reduced challenge for their herdmates.

If you'd like to book your herd in for vaccination, or you'd like more information about preventing calf scours, give us a call. Our vets will help you make the best decision for your herd.


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