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Appearance of immunoglobulin G in the plasma of piglets following intake of colostrum, with or without a delay in sucking

Lookup NU author(s): Emerita Professor Sandra Edwards


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The intake of immunoglobulin G (IgG) by sucking piglets from colostrum was estimated over the first 24 h of sucking by the weigh-suck-weigh technique using experimentally determined correction factors for metabolic and urinary losses and was related to appearance of IgG in piglet plasma. Colostrum immunoglobulin G (IgG) concentrations declined rapidly from 61 mg/ml at the start of sucking to 9.0 mg/ml after 24 h sucking. IgG was first detected in piglet plasma after 4 h sucking, increased to a maximum after 12 to 16 h sucking and thereafter declined. In piglets allowed to suck from birth, there was no significant relationship between estimated IgG intake and plasma IgG concentration suggesting that IgG intake did not limit acquisition of IgG by the piglet. When sucking was delayed by 8 or 12 h, colostrum intakes by piglets were not different from piglets allowed immediate access to the udder but IgG intakes were significantly (P < 0.001) decreased. Total plasma IgG (g/kg live weight) did not decline significantly as a result of delayed sucking. In conclusion, under the experimental conditions employed, the appearance of IgG in piglet plasma was limited by factors other than by colostrum IgG intake.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Bland IM, Rooke JA, Bland VC, Sinclair AG, Edwards SA

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Animal Science

Year: 2003

Volume: 77

Issue: 2

Pages: 277-286

ISSN (print): 1357-7298

Publisher: British Society of Animal Science