Serum IgE concentration has been considered a valuable measurement in parasitic infections, yet little has been reported regarding cattle. This study examines the association of IgE levels of nematode-naïve Holstein steer calves and the level of gastrointestinal parasitism acquired by grazing irrigated pasture for 30 days. Total IgE levels were determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) specific for bovine IgE on serum collected both before and after exposure to parasite-infested pastures. Following necropsy, parasite loads were determined by direct count from the contents of the abomasum, small intestine, cecum and large intestine; species of Ostertagia and Cooperia being the most common helminths found. Significant increases of IgE in the serum of calves with light infestations were seen, whereas calves with moderate to heavy infestations showed only mild IgE increases. With increased parasite burden, the frequency of increased IgE levels was reduced. Additionally, there appeared to be a seasonal correlation relating the level of serum IgE detected to the number of worms counted and to the course of parasite development.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Animal Science and Zoology