Relationship between Nutritional Status and Immunological Parameters in Prepartum and Postpartum Dairy Cattle


  • Korinn Saker VA-MD Regional College of Veterinary Medicine
  • Rubin Pulido Fuenzalida Universidad Austral de Chile
  • Gerhardt Schurig VA-MD Regional College of Veterinary Medicine
  • Daniel Ward VA-MD Regional College of Veterinary Medicine
  • William Swecker, Jr. VA-MD Regional College of Veterinary Medicine



nutrient status, postpartum stress, prepartum stress, trace element, immunocompetence, reproduction stages


Lack of information on animal and plant nutrient status in relation to pre- and postpartum stress makes producers of marginal operations reluctant to change feeding management. Nutrient requirements change with each phase of production. For example, dietary nutrient alterations, including trace element status, can influence host immunocompetence. This ultimately leads to a decrease in production parameters as weight gain, calf birth weight, milk yield and quality, and results in economic losses for the producer and consumer. Reliable methods to accurately assess nutritional state, and establish reference values for immunological parameters, during specified production stress periods will allow nutritional intervention to optimize the production unit. The main objective of the study was to develop methodology to evaluate immunological and trace element status of cattle under nutritional stress associated with various stages of reproduction.