Association between handling stress in the corral and rabies antibody titers in selenium-supplemented cattle

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2009-01-01

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This study determined the correlation between serum cortisol levels and rabies antibody titers in cattle primo-vaccinated against rabies and supplemented with dietary selenium (Se). Sixty Nelore male calves (10 to 12 months old) received daily and individual dietary supplementation with 0, 3.6, 5.4 and 6.4 mg Se (groups Gc, G3.6, G5.4 and G6.4, respectively). The animals were vaccinated against rabies (day 0) and subjected to handling stress in the corral for 120 days. Blood sampling procedures were performed on days 0, 15, 30, 60, 90 and 120. Cortisol levels increased until day 90, but had dropped significantly by day 120 (P < 0.01). Rabies antibody titers on days 30 and 90 were similar among Se-supplemented groups; in the control group, rabies antibodies decreased significantly from day 30 to 60, and 90 to 120. Serum cortisol levels and antibody titers were not correlated in most of the groups or blood sampling days. A positive correlation among these variables was found only in G6.4 on days 60 (R = 0.513; P = 0.05) and 120 (R = 0.644; P = 0.009). In conclusion, repeated handling in the corral stresses cattle, but without compromising rabies humoral immune response.

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Cattle, Cortisol, Rabies immune response, Selenium supplementation, Stress

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Journal of Venomous Animals and Toxins Including Tropical Diseases, v. 15, n. 4, p. 778-788, 2009.