Author(s): McGuire TC, Pfeiffer NE, Weikel JM, Bartsch RC
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Abstract Serum IgG1 concentrations of calves less than 3 weeks old and dying from infectious disease were significantly lower (P less than 0.01) than those of clinically normal calves. Fifty percent of the dead calves had serum IgG1 concentrations that were more than 2 standard deviations below the normal mean, and an additional 35\% had IgG1 concentrations that were more than 1 standard deviation below the normal mean. Low IgG1 concentrations were attributed to failures in passive transfer of colostral immunoglobulin. The few calves dying of noninfectious causes generally had normal serum immunoglobulin concentrations. The results of this study emphasize the importance of adequate colostral intake and absorption to the neonatal calf. In view of the large numbers of calves that die from neonatal infection each year, it may be assumed that failure in passive transfer, as reflected by low serum immunoglobulin concentrations, is one of the most important factors influencing neonatal calf mortality.
This article was published in J Am Vet Med Assoc
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