FIRST DEFENSE® is a capsule containing antibodies which aid in the reduction of morbidity and mortality from neonatal calf scours caused by K99+ E. coli and bovine coronavirus. Maximal protection is achieved when administered in the first 12 hours after birth and used in conjunction with good colostrum feeding and calf nutrition programs. Neutralizing antibodies against bovine coronavirus as well as antibodies specific for E. coli K99+ pilus antigens present in FIRST DEFENSE® are prepared from hyperimmune bovine colostrum. A FIRST DEFENSE® capsule containing dried colostral antibodies dissolves readily upon reaching the calf’s stomach to provide passive protection against intestinal infection. Specific antibodies in FIRST DEFENSE® serve to block enterotoxigenic E. coli adherence and interfere with virus infection of intestinal epithelial cells, thereby reducing scours-related morbidity and mortality.
While diarrhea in newborn calves can result from a variety of nutritional and management-related factors, the most common form of scours in calves during the first weeks of life is colibacillosis caused by enterotoxigenic K99+ E. coli (ETEC). ETEC infections alone cause 30-50% of scour-related deaths in newborn calves(1,2). Adherence of ETEC to intestinal epithelial cells via K99 pili permits colonization and enhances enterotoxin induced hypersecretion of electrolytes and water. The resulting profuse yellowish diarrhea can lead to severe dehydration and death(3,4). An additional 15-38% of neonatal scours mortality is associated with infections caused by coronavirus either alone, or in combination with K99+ E. coli, rotavirus or Cryptosporidium(2). While coronavirus diarrhea is most common between 7-14 days of age, coronavirus has been isolated in high frequency in calves during the neonatal period and is endemic in many dairy herds.
FIRST DEFENSE® is used as an aid in the reduction of morbidity and mortality from scours caused by K99+ E. coli and bovine coronavirus.
A capsule dose of FIRST DEFENSE® should be given to each calf within the first 12 hours after birth. If the calf is to be tube fed, it is recommended to do so prior to dosing. To administer, remove a FIRST DEFENSE® capsule from its blister pack by tearing off the foil backing and follow the instructions recommended below:
1. Place the large end of the capsule in a dosing gun (16 mm/5/8” opening) until firmly seated. Avoid guns with undersized openings which may fracture the capsule shell or oversized openings which could allow the capsule to slip.
2. Restrain the calf. Gently pry open its mouth and place the dosing gun containing the capsule into the back of the throat. Administer the capsule as close to the esophageal opening as possible. Use caution to avoid delivery to the trachea.
3. To assist passage of the capsule down the esophagus and to stimulate a swallowing reflex, stroke the surface of the tongue or the outside of the throat. Whenever possible, bottle feed or allow the calf to suckle immediately after administering the capsule. Watch for signs of breathing difficulty after administering the capsule. A capsule may block the airway if not properly administered, or if not swallowed by the calf. If the calf shows signs of choking or suffocating, immediately manipulate its body to dislodge the capsule.
4. Dosing gun should be cleaned and dried immediately following administration of capsule to each calf.
BOVINE CORONAVIRUS-ESCHERICHIA COLI ANTIBODY