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Evaluation of treatment of colostrum-deprived kittens with equine IgG

P. Cynda CrawfordDepartment of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32608.
Comparative Clinical Immunology Program, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32608.

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Rita M. HanelDepartment of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32608.

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Julie K. LevyDepartment of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32608.
Comparative Clinical Immunology Program, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32608.

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Abstract

Objective—To evaluate equine IgG as a treatment for kittens with failure of passive transfer of immunity (FPT).

Animals—13 specific pathogen-free queens and their 77 kittens.

Procedure—Kittens were randomized at birth into 9 treatment groups. One group contained colostrumfed (nursing) kittens; the other groups contained colostrum-deprived kittens that were administered supplemental feline or equine IgG PO or SC during the first 12 hours after birth. Blood samples were collected at serial time points from birth to 56 days of age for determination of serum IgG concentrations. The capacity of equine IgG to opsonize bacteria for phagocytosis by feline neutrophils was determined via flow cytometry.

Results—Kittens that received feline or equine IgG SC had significantly higher serum IgG concentrations than those of kittens that received the supplements PO. In kittens that were administered supplemental IgG SC, serum IgG concentrations were considered adequate for protection against infection. The half-life of IgG in kittens treated with equine IgG was shorter than that in kittens treated with feline IgG. Feline IgG significantly enhanced the phagocytosis of bacteria by feline neutrophils, but equine IgG did not.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Serum concentrations of equine IgG that are considered protective against infection are easily attained in kittens, but the failure of these antibodies to promote bacterial phagocytosis in vitro suggests that equine IgG may be an inappropriate treatment for FPT in kittens. (Am J Vet Res 2003;64:969–975)

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate equine IgG as a treatment for kittens with failure of passive transfer of immunity (FPT).

Animals—13 specific pathogen-free queens and their 77 kittens.

Procedure—Kittens were randomized at birth into 9 treatment groups. One group contained colostrumfed (nursing) kittens; the other groups contained colostrum-deprived kittens that were administered supplemental feline or equine IgG PO or SC during the first 12 hours after birth. Blood samples were collected at serial time points from birth to 56 days of age for determination of serum IgG concentrations. The capacity of equine IgG to opsonize bacteria for phagocytosis by feline neutrophils was determined via flow cytometry.

Results—Kittens that received feline or equine IgG SC had significantly higher serum IgG concentrations than those of kittens that received the supplements PO. In kittens that were administered supplemental IgG SC, serum IgG concentrations were considered adequate for protection against infection. The half-life of IgG in kittens treated with equine IgG was shorter than that in kittens treated with feline IgG. Feline IgG significantly enhanced the phagocytosis of bacteria by feline neutrophils, but equine IgG did not.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Serum concentrations of equine IgG that are considered protective against infection are easily attained in kittens, but the failure of these antibodies to promote bacterial phagocytosis in vitro suggests that equine IgG may be an inappropriate treatment for FPT in kittens. (Am J Vet Res 2003;64:969–975)