Antibody response of growing German Holstein bulls to a vaccination against bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV) is influenced by Fusarium toxin exposure in a non-linear fashion
The Fusarium toxin deoxynivalenol (DON) is a frequent contaminant of feedstuffs and is supposed to interfere with immune responses. As the relevance for growing bulls is less clear than for other livestock, the trial was designed according to the dose-response principal with a control group fed a diet with background contamination (CON, 0.36 mg DON per kilogram dry matter [DM]) and three groups with increasing concentrations of DON (mg/kg DM); FUS I, 3.01; FUS II, 5.66; FUS III, 8.31. Half of each treatment group was vaccinated against BVDV at days 1 and 21 of the 70 days lasting experiment. Sequential blood samples were collected for determination of antibody titers to BVDV and for hematological and clinical-chemical traits. Antibody response was strongest in group FUS II while group FUS III responded weakest. This group showed the lowest proportion of CD4+ T cells, but also the highest levels of liver lesion indicating enzyme activities in blood. BVDV-vaccination induced a pronounced decrease in red blood count indices, which occurred dose-dependently at a higher level in the FUS-fed groups. The obvious interactions between DON exposure and BVDV-vaccination require further elucidation.