Assessing the gut-lung axis in calves following different microbial challenges

Recent research in humans and laboratory animals indicates that the gut microbiome particularly affects lung immunity and may play a role in resistance against respiratory infections. In this project we investigate the gut-lung axis in calves and will assess the gut microbiome of calves is indeed functionally related to the microbiome and immunity in the lungs.


In this project we aim to improve our understanding of the gut-lung axis in calves following two microbial challenges relevant to current veal calf husbandry: group antibiotic treatment and mixing of calves from different dairy farm origins. We will use a 2x2 factorial arrangement with the factors group antibiotic treatment after arrival and calf origin and mixing (transport from dairy farm directly or via collection center). At multiple time points we will analyse the microbiome as well as general performance parameters. Moreover we will determine absolute numbers of white blood cells, IgG levels, haemoglobin levels, as well as cytokine levels in serum. Also immune cells subsets in blood and lung will be analysed.