Delayed versus on arrival modified live viral vaccination in stocker cattle on bovine respiratory disease



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PICO question

In auction market calves at high risk of developing bovine respiratory disease (BRD), does delayed (14–30 days) vaccination with a modified live vaccine (MLV) for viral respiratory pathogens versus administration of MLV on arrival (within 24 hours of arrival) to the stocker operation, result in less calves with BRD morbidity diagnosed based on visual signs and rectal temperature >40°C, or less calves with BRD mortality?


Clinical bottom line

Category of research question


The number and type of study designs reviewed

Four papers were critically reviewed. All were randomised complete block designs

Strength of evidence


Outcomes reported

In stocker calves, delaying administration of a MLV for respiratory viruses may result in numerically lower initial BRD morbidity rates, while giving at arrival may result in numerically lower BRD retreatments. One study shows statistically lower cases of BRD morbidity after the third antimicrobial treatment in cattle vaccinated on arrival with both a clostridial and MLV for respiratory viruses compared to cattle vaccinated on arrival with clostridial vaccine and delayed MLV for respiratory viruses. No conclusion about mortality can be drawn due to inconsistent numerical conclusions between studies


Due to conflicting evidence and a general lack of statistically significant differences in morbidity and mortality outcomes, a definite answer regarding the impact of delayed MLV respiratory vaccination in stocker calves cannot be made


How to apply this evidence in practice

The application of evidence into practice should take into account multiple factors, not limited to: individual clinical expertise, patient’s circumstances and owners’ values, country, location or clinic where you work, the individual case in front of you, the availability of therapies and resources.

Knowledge Summaries are a resource to help reinforce or inform decision making. They do not override the responsibility or judgement of the practitioner to do what is best for the animal in their care.


Open Access Peer Reviewed


O’Connor, A.M., Hu, D., Totton, S.C., Scott, N., Winder, C.B., Wang, B., Wang, C., Glanville, J., Wood, H., White, B., Larson, R., Waldner, C. & Sargeant, J.M. (2019). A systematic review and network meta-analysis of injectable antibiotic options for the control of bovine respiratory disease in the first 45 days post arrival at the feedlot. Animal Health Research Reviews. 20, 163–181. DOI:

Poe, K.D., Beck, P.A., Richeson, J.T., Gadberry, M.S., Kegley, E.B., Hess, T.W. & Hubbell, D.S. (2013). Effects of respiratory vaccination timing and growth-promoting implant on health, performance, and immunity of high-risk, newly received stocker cattle. Applied Animal Science. 29(4), 413–419. DOI:

Richeson, J.T., Beck, P.A., Gadberry, M.S., Gunter, S.A., Hess, T.W., Hubbell, D.S. & Jones, C. (2008). Effects of on-arrival versus delayed modified live virus vaccination on health, performance, and serum infectious bovine rhinotracheitis titers of newly received beef calves. Journal of Animal Science. 84(4), 999–1005. DOI:

Richeson, J.T., Kegley, E.B., Gadberry, M.S., Beck, P.A., Powell, J.G. & Jones, C.A. (2009). Effects of on-arrival versus delayed clostridial or modified live respiratory vaccinations on health, performance, bovine viral diarrhea virus type I titers, and stress and immune measures of newly received beef calves. Journal of Animal Science. 87(7), 2409–2418. DOI:

Richeson, J.T., Beck, P.A., Poe, K.D., Gadberry, M.S., Hess, T.W. & Hubbell, D.S. (2015). Effects of administration of a modified-live virus respiratory vaccine and timing of vaccination on health and performance of high-risk beef stocker calves. The Bovine Practitioner. 49(1), 37–42. DOI:

Roberts, S.L., Powell, J.G., Hughes, H.D. & Richeson, J.T. (2018). Effect of castration method and analgesia on inflammation, behavior, growth performance, and carcass traits in feedlot cattle. Journal of Animal Science. 91(1), 66–75. DOI:

Vol. 7 No. 1 (2022): The first issue of 2022

Section: Knowledge Summaries

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