In calves, passive immunity of immunoglobulins can be acquired through ingestion of colostrum or colostrum replacers. Plasma can been used to supplement immunoglobulins in healthy or sick calves. Serum half-life of colostral derived immuglobulin G (IgG) is estimated to be 20 days. Half-life of IgG is important in determining response to antigens and timing of vaccination in calves. To date studies evaluating half-life of colostrum replacer or plasma derived IgG are lacking. The objectives of this study were to compare the serum half-life of IgG derived from colostrum, colostrum replacer and plasma in dairy calves reared up to 35 days of age. Thirty Jersey calves were randomly assigned to receive colostrum or colostrum replacer by oroesophageal tubing or plasma by intravenous administration. Serum samples were collected at 2, 5, 7, 10, 14, 21, 28 and 35 days. Serum IgG concentrations were determined by radial immunodiffusion. The results indicated that half-life for IgG in colostrum fed (28.5 days) or plasma transfused calves (27.3 days) was longer than colostrum replacer fed calves (19.1 days). Further studies are required to evaluate pathogen specific immunoglobulins in order to recommend vaccination timing in calves fed colostrum replacers.
- Colostrum replacer
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