Hemolytic complement activity and concentrations of its third component during maturation of the immune response in colostrum-deprived foals

Marietta M. Bernoco From the Department of Population Health and Reproduction, School of Veterinary Medicine (Bernoco, Liu) and the Division of Statistics (Willits), University of California, Davis, CA 95616-8743.

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Irwin K. M. Liu From the Department of Population Health and Reproduction, School of Veterinary Medicine (Bernoco, Liu) and the Division of Statistics (Willits), University of California, Davis, CA 95616-8743.

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Neil H. Willits From the Department of Population Health and Reproduction, School of Veterinary Medicine (Bernoco, Liu) and the Division of Statistics (Willits), University of California, Davis, CA 95616-8743.

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Summary

Six foals were deprived of colostrum for the first 36 hours after birth and, instead, received reconstituted powdered milk. Five control foals suckled their dams naturally. Blood samples were obtained from all the foals after birth and at approximately weekly intervals until at least 5.5 months of age. Sera were analyzed for hemolytic complement activity, complement component C3, and correlating IgG concentration. Hemolytic complement (P = 0.0145) and C3 (P = 0.0002) values were significantly higher in colostrum-deprived foals (cdf) than in naturally nursed foals at 2 to 5 days of age. In addition, significantly (P = 0.0149) higher IgG concentration was found in cdf than in naturally nursed foals between 3 and 5.5 months of age. It was concluded that the observed high complement activity in cdf within 2 to 5 days of age may provide an alternative in immune defense for IgG-deprived foals after failure of colostral transfer.

Summary

Six foals were deprived of colostrum for the first 36 hours after birth and, instead, received reconstituted powdered milk. Five control foals suckled their dams naturally. Blood samples were obtained from all the foals after birth and at approximately weekly intervals until at least 5.5 months of age. Sera were analyzed for hemolytic complement activity, complement component C3, and correlating IgG concentration. Hemolytic complement (P = 0.0145) and C3 (P = 0.0002) values were significantly higher in colostrum-deprived foals (cdf) than in naturally nursed foals at 2 to 5 days of age. In addition, significantly (P = 0.0149) higher IgG concentration was found in cdf than in naturally nursed foals between 3 and 5.5 months of age. It was concluded that the observed high complement activity in cdf within 2 to 5 days of age may provide an alternative in immune defense for IgG-deprived foals after failure of colostral transfer.

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