Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Amelia Woolums

Committee Member

Cyprianna E. Swiderski

Committee Member

Andy Perkins

Committee Member

Bindu Nanduri

Committee Member

David R. Smith

Date of Degree


Original embargo terms

Visible to MSU only for 1 year

Document Type

Dissertation - Campus Access Only


Veterinary Medical Science (Infectious Diseases)

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


College of Veterinary Medicine


Department of Pathobiology and Population Medicine


Bovine respiratory disease (BRD) is a highly dynamic disease complex that results from host, microbial agent, and environmental interactions. Despite nearly a century of targeted research, BRD remains the most economically damaging disease in beef cattle production and appears to be increasing in global incidence. While modern modalities for BRD detection exist, clinical diagnosis and management decisions largely depend upon clinical observations and their associated risk of disease. Though these approaches lack precision, they remain in use for many reasons, including fiscal and time constraints within beef production systems. Advancements in high-throughput sequencing have demonstrated the ability to provide insight into complex biological disorders, leading to the development of predictive biomarkers and individualized therapy. Through the use of observational research methods and previously published data, transcriptome analyses were used to capture biological information related to the host-disease or host-pathogen relationship. These studies independently elaborated findings related to host management of inflammation, ultimately being associated with both acquisition and severity of BRD. Through advances in sequencing technology and data analysis methodology, novel components related to host inflammatory mitigation and antimicrobial defense are described for clinical BRD. Factors related to increased alternative complement activation, decreased specialized proresolving lipid mediator biosynthesis, decreased antimicrobial peptide production, and increased type I interferon stimulation were associated with severe clinical BRD. These findings define molecular networks, mechanisms, and pathways that are associated with BRD outcome, and may serve as a foundation for precision medicine in beef cattle.