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Am J Vet Res. 1989 Sep;50(9):1598-603.

Absorption of bovine colostral immunoglobulins G and M in newborn foals.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis 95616.


The uptake of colostral IgG and IgM, their serum half-lives, and the rates of endogenous synthesis of IgG and IgM were evaluated in 6 newborn foals fed bovine colostrum (principals) and 6 foals allowed to suckle their dams (controls). The principal foals were fed 400 ml of bovine colostrum (IgG, 10,000 mg/dl and IgM, 200 mg/dl) at 2-hour intervals, from 2 to 20 hours after foaling (total dose, 4 L). Serum IgG and IgM concentrations were determined by single radial immunodiffusion from birth to 98 days of age. At foaling, principal foals had no detectable serum equine IgG, but 1 control foal had serum equine IgG of 185 mg/dl. After ingestion of colostrum, there was no significant difference in the maximal serum bovine IgG concentration (range, 1,350 to 3,300 mg/dl) in the principal foals, and maximal serum equine IgG concentration in the control foals (range, 500 to 6,000 mg/dl). The calculated biological bovine and equine IgG half-life in the principal and control groups was 9.4 and 26 days, respectively. Endogenous IgG synthesis was first detected in 1 principal foal at 3 days of age, but was detected first between 28 and 42 days in the other principal foals. Starting on day 56 there was no significant difference in serum equine IgG concentration between groups. At foaling, foals in both groups had low equine IgM concentrations. In the control foals, there was marked individual variation in the increases in equine IgM concentration (range, 5 to 73 mg/dl) after ingestion of colostrum.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

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