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Effects of an oral hydro-ethanolic purple coneflower extract on performance, clinical health and immune parameters in calves

Ayrle, Hannah; Mevissen, Meike; Bruckmaier, Rupert M.; Wellnitz, Olga; Kaske, Martin; Bieber, Anna; Vögtlin, Andrea; Fricker, Raffael and Walkenhorst, Michael (2021) Effects of an oral hydro-ethanolic purple coneflower extract on performance, clinical health and immune parameters in calves. Research in Veterinary Science, 138, pp. 148-160.

[thumbnail of Ayrle-etal-2021-ResearchVetSci-Vol138-p148-160.pdf] PDF - Published Version - English
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Document available online at: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0034528821001764


The objective of this randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blinded field trial was to investigate the effects of oral administration of purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea L. (EP)) on performance, health and immune parameters in calves.
Calves (n = 27) were enrolled to three groups (9 calves per group): 0.5 g EP/calf per day (ECL), 5 g EP/calf per day (ECH) or placebo. Calves were vaccinated with Bluetongue-Virus (BTV) serotype 4 vaccine to investigate EPs effects on seroconversion. Clinical and performance parameters, inter alia body weight, health and milk intake were recorded for 57 days. Blood samples were analyzed for BTV antibodies and IgG by ELISA, white and red blood cell counts by flow cytometry and mRNA abundance of various inflammatory markers in leukocytes (IL-1β, IL-8, tumor necrosis factor α (TNFα), cyclooxygenase 2 (Cox-2) and prostaglandin E synthase) was studied.
The findings demonstrated no differences between groups regarding performance parameters. In all groups, calves suffered from diarrhea for a minimum of 2 days, but EP reduced the number of diarrhea days by 44% in ECL and increased the body temperature. Interestingly, ECL resulted in an increased number of respiratory disease days during the follow-up period. EP did not change blood cell and IgG counts, whereas eosinophil granulocytes were reduced in ECL. Decreased levels of hemoglobin and hematocrit were found in ECH. Prostaglandin E synthase levels in leukocytes were higher in ECL and ECH, whereas no differences were obtained for IL-1β, IL-8, TNFα and Cox-2. Due to the unexpected occurrence of BTV seropositive calves before the first vaccination, 13 calves were excluded from the evaluation on seroconversion and no statistical analyses could be performed regarding antibody production. BTV-4 antibodies were not produced in 4 placebo-calves, whereas 4 of 5 and 1 of 6 ECL- and ECH-calves produced antibodies.
Further investigations are needed to draw final conclusions on mode of action and efficacy of EP in calves.

EPrint Type:Journal paper
Keywords:Bovine respiratory disease, Calf diarrhea, Calf disease, Echinacea purpurea, Medicinal plant, Abacus, FiBL50054
Agrovoc keywords:
diarrhea -> diarrhoea
medicinal plants
Subjects: Animal husbandry > Production systems > Beef cattle
Animal husbandry > Health and welfare
Research affiliation: Switzerland > FiBL - Research Institute of Organic Agriculture Switzerland > Animal > Cattle
Switzerland > FiBL - Research Institute of Organic Agriculture Switzerland > Animal > Animal health > Medicinal plants & phytotherapy
Deposited By: Forschungsinstitut für biologischen Landbau, FiBL
ID Code:43281
Deposited On:12 Jan 2022 14:51
Last Modified:12 Jan 2022 14:51
Document Language:English
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted

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