Immunity and Livestock Herds
E.J. Richey, DVM
University of Florida
Immunity is the ability of an animal to resist disease. Fortunately, immunity is a basic fact of nature; unfortunately, we take it for granted. In reality, immunity culminates from the activity of a very complex and intricate system of the body – the immune system; a system that we can to some extent enhance and manipulate to provide various degrees of protection against most disease-causing bacteria and viruses.
Present-day livestock management systems and practices may allow the immune system to be overwhelmed by either a significantly high disease challenge or by weakening the existing immune system.