A more complete understanding of the bovine immune response to antigens of Pasteurella haemolytica biotype A, serotype 1, will improve control of bovine respiratory disease (BRD). Sera were obtained from blood samples of calves as they transited the market system of eastern Tennessee and were transported to a feedlot in Texas. The clinical histories and performance data were recorded and compared with serologic findings. The calves underwent a natural challenge of BRD. Serologic and bacteriologic evaluation indicated that P. haemolytica A1 was a significant component of the challenge. Serum antibody titers against P. haemolytica A1 capsular antigens (in enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and hemolysin-in-gel test) increased by day 15 and continued at high levels through day 56. The animals that remained free of BRD had higher initial serum antibody concentrations than those that succumbed to BRD. The specificity of the immunoglobulin G subclass 1 (IgG1) anticapsular antibody to P. haemolytica A1 increased from day 8 to day 29 as evidenced by a decrease in P. haemolytica A2 absorption inhibition from 60% (day 8) to 15% (day 29). However, IgA, IgG2, and IgM were more serotype specific on both days 8 and 29. There were no significant changes in anti-P. haemolytica A2 antibody titers. Both in vitro complement-dependent bacteriolysis and C3 deposition on the surface of the bacteria increased significantly (P less than 0.01) in a serotype-specific fashion from day 8 to day 29. These calves showed a humoral immune response to capsular polysaccharide antigens of P. haemolytica A1. Such a response may be an important component of immunity to BRD
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