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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/11019/256

Title: Peripheral and gastrointestinal immune systems of healthy cattle raised outdoors at pasture or indoors on a concentrate-based ration
Authors: Lejeune, Alexandre
Monahan, Frank J
Moloney, Aidan P
Earley, Bernadette
Black, Alistair D
Campion, Deirdre P
Englishby, Tanya
Reilly, Petrina
O'Doherty, John
Sweeney, Torres
Keywords: Cattle production systems
Peripheral immune parameters
Issue Date: 31-Mar-2010
Publisher: Biomed Central
Citation: BMC Veterinary Research. 2010 Mar 31;6(1):19
Series/Report no.: BMC Veterinary Research
Abstract: Background: Despite an increasing preference of consumers for beef produced from more extensive pasture-based production systems and potential human health benefits from the consumption of such beef, data regarding the health status of animals raised on pasture are limited. The objective of this study was to characterise specific aspects of the bovine peripheral and the gastrointestinal muscosal immune systems of cattle raised on an outdoor pasture system in comparison to animals raised on a conventional intensive indoor concentrate-based system. Results: A number of in vitro functional tests of immune cells suggested subtle differences between the animals on the outdoor versus indoor production systems. There was a decrease in the number of neutrophils and monocytes engaged in phagocytosis in outdoor cattle (P < 0.01 and P < 0.05, respectively) in comparison to those indoors. Following mitogen stimulation, a lower level of interferon-γ was produced in leukocytes from the outdoor animals (P < 0.05). There was evidence of a gastrointestinal nematode infection in the outdoor animals with elevated levels of serum pepsinogen (P < 0.001), a higher number of eosinophils (P < 0.05) and a higher level of interleukin-4 and stem cell factor mRNA expression (P < 0.05) in the outdoor animals in comparison to the indoor animals. Lower levels of copper and iodine were measured in the outdoor animals in comparison to indoor animals (P < 0.001). Conclusion: Despite distinctly contrasting production systems, only subtle differences were identified in the peripheral immune parameters measured between cattle raised at pasture in comparison to animals raised on a conventional intensive indoor concentrate-based production system.
Description: peer-reviewed
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/11019/256
http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1746-6148-6-19
Appears in Collections:Animal & Bioscience
Teagasc publications in Biomed Central

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