Influence of parental serum immunoglobulins on morbidity and mortality of Beagles and their offspring

Frances S. Shofer From the Section of Epidemiology, Department of Clinical Studies, University of Pennsylvania, School of Veterinary Medicine, 3850 Spruce Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104 (Shofer, Glickman, Laster) and the Department of Veterinary Pathobiology, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Illinois, 2001 South Lincoln Ave, Urbana, IL 61801 (Felsburg).

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Lawrence T. Glickman From the Section of Epidemiology, Department of Clinical Studies, University of Pennsylvania, School of Veterinary Medicine, 3850 Spruce Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104 (Shofer, Glickman, Laster) and the Department of Veterinary Pathobiology, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Illinois, 2001 South Lincoln Ave, Urbana, IL 61801 (Felsburg).

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Alice J. Payton From the Section of Epidemiology, Department of Clinical Studies, University of Pennsylvania, School of Veterinary Medicine, 3850 Spruce Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104 (Shofer, Glickman, Laster) and the Department of Veterinary Pathobiology, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Illinois, 2001 South Lincoln Ave, Urbana, IL 61801 (Felsburg).

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Larry L. Laster From the Section of Epidemiology, Department of Clinical Studies, University of Pennsylvania, School of Veterinary Medicine, 3850 Spruce Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104 (Shofer, Glickman, Laster) and the Department of Veterinary Pathobiology, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Illinois, 2001 South Lincoln Ave, Urbana, IL 61801 (Felsburg).

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Peter J. Felsburg From the Section of Epidemiology, Department of Clinical Studies, University of Pennsylvania, School of Veterinary Medicine, 3850 Spruce Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104 (Shofer, Glickman, Laster) and the Department of Veterinary Pathobiology, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Illinois, 2001 South Lincoln Ave, Urbana, IL 61801 (Felsburg).

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SUMMARY

Serum IgA, IgG, and IgM concentrations were determined for Beagle sires and dams of 717 matings to assess the relationship of parental immunoglobulins with the morbidity and mortality of their pups. A significant relationship was not found between parental immunoglobulins and pup mortality. Pups born to dams with low serum IgA (P < 0.001) and IgM (P < 0.02) concentrations, however, were found to have an increased incidence of sneezing, coughing, nasal discharge, and conjunctivitis. Thirty-eight percent of pups born to dams with IgA ≤ 40 mg/dl developed these same conditions during the first 18 weeks of life, compared with 32% of pups of dams with IgA of 41 to 65 mg/dl and 27% of pups of dams with IgA > 65 mg/dl. Similarly, 41% of pups born to dams with low IgM (≤ 135 mg/dl) developed abnormal respiratory tract signs, compared with 34% and 30% of pups born to dams with medium (136 to 175 mg/dl) and high (> 175 mg/dl) IgM, respectively. Serum IgA concentrations of the sires were also associated with abnormal respiratory tract signs in pups, but this influence was evident only at 10 to 18 weeks of age.

To determine biologic variability of serum IgA, 60 Beagle dams were selected from 3 serum IgA categories, low (10 to 21 mg/dl), medium (60 to 80 mg/dl), and high (125 to 210 mg/dl). A second serum IgA was determined from a sample taken 2 years later. The intraclass correlation coefficient (rI) indicated considerable biologic variability in all 3 groups: r I = −0.24, r I = 0.09, and rI = 0.46, for low, medium, and high IgA categories, respectively. In contrast, minimal variability was noticed between observers (r I = 0.98) and in the radial immunodiffusion test itself (r I = 0.96).

SUMMARY

Serum IgA, IgG, and IgM concentrations were determined for Beagle sires and dams of 717 matings to assess the relationship of parental immunoglobulins with the morbidity and mortality of their pups. A significant relationship was not found between parental immunoglobulins and pup mortality. Pups born to dams with low serum IgA (P < 0.001) and IgM (P < 0.02) concentrations, however, were found to have an increased incidence of sneezing, coughing, nasal discharge, and conjunctivitis. Thirty-eight percent of pups born to dams with IgA ≤ 40 mg/dl developed these same conditions during the first 18 weeks of life, compared with 32% of pups of dams with IgA of 41 to 65 mg/dl and 27% of pups of dams with IgA > 65 mg/dl. Similarly, 41% of pups born to dams with low IgM (≤ 135 mg/dl) developed abnormal respiratory tract signs, compared with 34% and 30% of pups born to dams with medium (136 to 175 mg/dl) and high (> 175 mg/dl) IgM, respectively. Serum IgA concentrations of the sires were also associated with abnormal respiratory tract signs in pups, but this influence was evident only at 10 to 18 weeks of age.

To determine biologic variability of serum IgA, 60 Beagle dams were selected from 3 serum IgA categories, low (10 to 21 mg/dl), medium (60 to 80 mg/dl), and high (125 to 210 mg/dl). A second serum IgA was determined from a sample taken 2 years later. The intraclass correlation coefficient (rI) indicated considerable biologic variability in all 3 groups: r I = −0.24, r I = 0.09, and rI = 0.46, for low, medium, and high IgA categories, respectively. In contrast, minimal variability was noticed between observers (r I = 0.98) and in the radial immunodiffusion test itself (r I = 0.96).

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