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Protocol for a Scoping/Systematic Review: Scoping Review of Vaccination for the Prevention of Calf Scours in Cow-Calf Operations


Background: The use of antimicrobials in the livestock industry has been a topic of increasing concern in the last  few years. Calf scours is one of the main causes of mortality among calves younger than 1 month and affects the development of the animal, representing severe economic losses to the producers. The causes of the disease include a variety of viral, bacterial and protozoal pathogens, and other non-infectious causes. The treatment efficacy, in particular of antimicrobial therapy, depends on the type of infection. Blanket antimicrobial treatment for calf scours without identification of the pathogen may contribute to antimicrobial resistance. In this review we explore the available literature for evidence of effective methods to prevent calf scours in cow-calf operations in California through the use of vaccination.

Objectives:  The objective of this scoping review is to examine and describe the existing literature on vaccination for the prevention of calf scours that might reduce the incidence of calf scours by different causes, and therefore reduce the use of antimicrobials due to calf scours.

Design: Primary research on vaccination for pathogens that cause calf scours will be considered for inclusion, such as studies conducted in pre-weaned calves that report the efficacy of vaccines for the prevention of calf scours. The process for selection and inclusion of the studies will be reported in a flow chart according to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA). The results will be summarized in tables and charts describing study types, interventions and outcomes.

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