• Automatic cough detection for bovine respiratory disease in a calf house

      Carpentier, Lenn; Berckmans, Daniel; Youssef, Ali; Berckmans, Dries; van Waterschoot, Toon; Johnston, Dayle; Ferguson, Natasha; Earley, Bernadette; Fontana, Ilaria; Tullo, Emanuela; et al. (Elsevier, 2018-07-06)
      In calf rearing, bovine respiratory disease (BRD) is a major animal health challenge. Farmers incur severe economic losses due to BRD. Additional to economic costs, outbreaks of BRD impair the welfare of the animal and extra expertise and labour are needed to treat and care for the infected animals. Coughing is recognised as a clinical manifestation of BRD. Therefore, the monitoring of coughing in a calf house has the potential to detect cases of respiratory infection before they become too severe, and thus to limit the impact of BRD on both the farmer and the animal. The objective of this study was to develop an algorithm for detection of coughing sounds in a calf house. Sounds were recorded in four adjacent compartments of one calf house over two time periods (82 and 96 days). There were approximately 21 and 14 calves in each compartment over the two time-periods, respectively. The algorithm was developed using 445 min of sound data. These data contained 664 different cough references, which were labelled by a human expert. It was found that, during the first time period in all 3 of the compartments and during the second period in 2 out of 4 compartments, the algorithm worked very well (precision higher than 80%), while in the 2 other cases the algorithm worked well but the precision was less (66.6% and 53.8%). A relation between the number of calves diagnosed with BRD and the detected coughs is shown.
    • Genome wide association study of passive immunity and disease traits in beef-suckler and dairy calves on Irish farms

      Johnston, Dayle; Mukiibi, Robert; Waters, Sinéad M.; McGee, Mark; Surlis, Carla; McClure, Jennifer C.; McClure, Matthew C.; Todd, Cynthia G.; Earley, Bernadette; Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine; et al. (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2020-11-04)
      Calves with lower concentrations of immunoglobulin G (IgG) in their blood, have a greater risk of developing diseases. There is a lack of knowledge on genetic markers known to be associated with immunological variability or disease resistance. Therefore, the objective of this study was to identify SNP markers associated with passive immunity measures (serum IgG, serum protein, albumin, globulin and total protein concentrations, total solids Brix percentage, zinc sulphate turbidity units) and disease (pneumonia, diarrhoea, crude illness) traits in Irish commercial beef-suckler and dairy calves through genome wide association studies (GWAS). Genotyping was performed on DNA samples from beef-suckler (n = 698) and dairy (n = 1178) calves, using the IDBv3 chip. Heritability of passive immunity associated traits (range 0.02–0.22) and the disease traits (range 0.03–0.20) were low-to-moderate. Twenty-five and fifteen SNPs approached genome wide significance (P < 5 × 10−5) for the passive immunity and the disease traits, respectively. One SNP “ARS-BFGL-BAC-27914” reached Bonferroni genome wide significance (P < 1.15 × 10−6) for an association with serum IgG concentration in beef calves. Further work will evaluate these SNPs in larger cattle populations and assess their contribution to genomic selection breeding strategies, aimed towards producing more disease resistant livestock.