Gupta, S., Sharma, A., Joy, A. et al. 2023. The impact of heat stress on immune status of dairy cattle and strategies to ameliorate the negative effects. Animals 13(1), 107.

Heat stress (HS) is well known to influence animal health and livestock productivity negatively. Heat stress is a multi-billion-dollar global problem. It impairs animal performance during summer when animals are exposed to high ambient temperatures, direct and indirect solar radiations, and humidity. While significant developments have been achieved over the last few decades to mitigate the negative impact of HS, such as physical modification of the environment to protect the animals from direct heat, HS remains a significant challenge for the dairy industry compromising dairy cattle health and welfare. In such a scenario, it is essential to have a thorough understanding of how the immune system of dairy cattle responds to HS and identify the variable responses among the animals. This understanding could help to identify heat-resilient dairy animals for breeding and may lead to the development of climate resilient breeds in the future to support sustainable dairy cattle production. There are sufficient data demonstrating the impact of increased temperature and humidity on endocrine responses to HS in dairy cattle, especially changes in concentration of hormones like prolactin and cortisol, which also provide an indication of the likely im-pact on the immune system. In this paper, we review the recent research on the impact of HS on immunity of calves during early life to adult lactating and dry cows. Additionally, different strategies for amelioration of negative effects of HS have been presented.

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