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Passive transfer of colostral immunoglobulin G in neonatal llamas and alpacas

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  • 1 Department of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211.
  • | 2 Department of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211.
  • | 3 Department of Veterinary Pathobiology, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211.
  • | 4 Department of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211.
  • | 5 Present address is 222 Calvin Dr, Columbia, MO, 65201.
  • | 6 Department of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211.
  • | 7 Present address is Callaway County Veterinary Hospital, 5040 County Rd 306, Fulton, MO 65251.
  • | 8 Department of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211.

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate precolostral hypogammaglobulinemia in neonatal llamas and alpacas, to determine when postcolostral peak serum IgG concentrations develop, to determine whether differences in postcolostral serum IgG concentrations between llamas and alpacas exist, and to determine postcolostral half-life of serum IgG in llamas and alpacas.

Design—Prospective observational study.

Animals—29 llama and 10 alpaca crias.

Procedure—Blood samples were collected prior to suckling and on days 1, 2, and 3 after parturition and analyzed for serum IgG concentration by use of a commercial radial immunodiffusion assay. Additional samples were collected on days 8, 13, and 18 from 8 crias to determine mean half-life of IgG.

Results—Llamas and alpacas are born severely hypogammaglobulinemic. Mean serum IgG concentrations for day-1, -2, and -3 samples for llamas were 1,578 mg/dl, 1,579 mg/dl, and 1,401 mg/dl, respectively, and for alpacas were 2,024 mg/dl, 1,806 mg/dl, and 1,669 mg/dl, respectively. Peak serum immunoglobulin concentration developed between days 1 and 2. Mean half-life of IgG for all crias was 15.7 days.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Although increased mortality has been linked to failure of passive transfer, it is clearly possible to raise crias that have low serum immunoglobulin concentrations. Llamas and alpacas do not differ significantly with respect to immunoglobulin absorption or IgG concentration in neonates. The optimal sampling time for passive transfer status is between 1 and 2 days. (Am J Vet Res 2000;61:738–741)

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate precolostral hypogammaglobulinemia in neonatal llamas and alpacas, to determine when postcolostral peak serum IgG concentrations develop, to determine whether differences in postcolostral serum IgG concentrations between llamas and alpacas exist, and to determine postcolostral half-life of serum IgG in llamas and alpacas.

Design—Prospective observational study.

Animals—29 llama and 10 alpaca crias.

Procedure—Blood samples were collected prior to suckling and on days 1, 2, and 3 after parturition and analyzed for serum IgG concentration by use of a commercial radial immunodiffusion assay. Additional samples were collected on days 8, 13, and 18 from 8 crias to determine mean half-life of IgG.

Results—Llamas and alpacas are born severely hypogammaglobulinemic. Mean serum IgG concentrations for day-1, -2, and -3 samples for llamas were 1,578 mg/dl, 1,579 mg/dl, and 1,401 mg/dl, respectively, and for alpacas were 2,024 mg/dl, 1,806 mg/dl, and 1,669 mg/dl, respectively. Peak serum immunoglobulin concentration developed between days 1 and 2. Mean half-life of IgG for all crias was 15.7 days.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Although increased mortality has been linked to failure of passive transfer, it is clearly possible to raise crias that have low serum immunoglobulin concentrations. Llamas and alpacas do not differ significantly with respect to immunoglobulin absorption or IgG concentration in neonates. The optimal sampling time for passive transfer status is between 1 and 2 days. (Am J Vet Res 2000;61:738–741)