Colostral transfer of bovine immunoglobulin E and dynamics of serum IgE in calves

E. F. Thatcher, Laurel J Gershwin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


The role of IgE in protective immunity is becoming understood, therefore the colostral transfer of IgE and the age-dependent changes of IgE levels may be important for neonatal immunity. To investigate this question, serum samples were collected from range-fed Hereford cows and their calves from birth through 9 months of age. The sera were assayed for total IgE by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Calves were found to have significant levels of IgE during the first week postpartum, indicating colostral transfer of IgE. Thereafter, serum levels declined rapidly within 3 weeks from birth. The IgE levels began to increase after 12 weeks of age, and in some cases reached adult levels. The passive transfer of maternal IgE through colostrum may be important in providing early protection from disease, especially against intestinal parasites.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)325-334
Number of pages10
JournalVeterinary Immunology and Immunopathology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Immunology
  • veterinary(all)


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