Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science in Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences

Degree Level



Animal Science


Powell, Jeremy

Committee Member/Reader

Kegley, Beth


Bovine Respiratory Disease (BRD) is the most prominent and costly ailment in the stocker cattle industry today, and its prevalence has not been diminished in the last thirty years. Therefore, the objective of this study was to investigate the effects of Zelnate, a DNA immunostimulant, administered upon arrival to calves (n = 261; BW 253 ± 4.0 kg), on morbidity/mortality, performance and producer costs. Crossbred male beef calves were acquired and transported to the University of Arkansas stocker unit for a 42-d backgrounding period. Calves were allocated into treatment groups: 1) Zelnate, DNA immunostimulant administered or 2) Control, in which no immunostimulant was administered. Animals were checked daily for signs of morbidity and treated. Records for morbidity and mortality were kept. Data were analyzed using the GLIMMIX procedures of SAS. Significance was declared at P < 0.05 and tendencies between 0.05 ≤ P < 0.10. Zelnate treated calves tended (P = 0.09) to have a lower relapse rate [RC1] compared to control calves. Average daily gain was similar (P = 0.60) between the two treatment groups. This study also indicated that the treatment cost for the Zelnate group was more expensive than the cost to treat the control group (P < 0.01). Overall, our findings indicate that Zelnate administered upon arrival to high risk calves did not improve morbidity rates and respiratory treatment or affect performance, however it did increase costs by $9.24 per calf. Based upon these results, Zelnate does not appear to be an effective metaphylactic therapy for BRD.


Bovine Respiratory Disease, Ruminant Health, Zelnate