Vaccination for the Prevention of Neonatal Calf Diarrhea in Cow-Calf Operations: A Scoping Review

Gabriele Ute Maier, Jefferson Breitenbuecher, Jose Pablo Gomez, Festus Samah, Erik Fausak, Megan Van Noord

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Neonatal calf diarrhea (NCD), also known as scours, is an important disease of preweaned calves that affects the production and welfare of beef herds. While hygiene and nutrition are important in reducing the incidence of NCD, vaccination of dams or calves is often employed for the prevention of NCD. The present scoping review summarizes the available peer-reviewed scientific English literature on vaccination of dams or calves for the prevention of NCD over the past decades. The online databases Medline, CAB Abstracts, and Biosis were searched for articles on the topic published between 1950 and 2020. Online software was used to systematically evaluate 2807 citations for inclusion through pre-determined criteria in a 2-step process. In the 113 articles included in the review, vaccines tested targeted the pathogens E. coli (n = 43), bovine rotavirus (BRV, n = 38), Salmonella (n = 29), bovine coronavirus (BCV, n = 14), bovine viral diarrhea virus (n= 7), and other pathogens (n = 8). Field trials for commercial vaccines have been published for the most important pathogens, and results on efficacy are variable for such vaccines targeting BRV, BCV, and E. coli. Meta-analyses exploring efficacy of these vaccines would be helpful to practitioners and producers. No field studies on commercial products have shown efficacy for Salmonella vaccines so that a meta-analysis would unlikely come to a different conclusion. Further research is needed on vaccines for protozoal pathogens like Cryptosporidium parvum as well as on the importance of several emerging enteric viruses in calves.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100238
JournalVeterinary and Animal Science
StatePublished - Mar 2022


  • Abbreviations
  • Calf scours
  • CDFA-AUS California Department of Food and Agriculture–Antimicrobial Use and Stewardship
  • diarrhea
  • enteritis
  • PRISMA preferred reporting items for systematic review and meta-analysis protocols
  • SYREAF Systematic Reviews for Animals and Food
  • vaccine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • veterinary(all)


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