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Lower serum IgA levels in horses kept under intensive sanitary management and physical training

  • C. M. Souza (a1), B. A. Miotto (a1), C. P. Bonin (a1) and M. M. Camargo (a1)


Quantity and variety of environmental antigens, age, diet, vaccine protocols, exercising practice and mucosal cytokine microenvironment are factors that influence serum immunoglobulin (Ig) levels. IgA, IgG, IgG(T) and IgM were quantified in 60 horses, which were classified into two groups, ‘intensive’ or ‘relaxed’, according to sanitary standards of the facilities and physical exercise to which animals were subjected to. The ‘intensive’ group presented lower means for all isotypes, but only IgA presented a significant (P < 0.0064) difference when compared to the ‘relaxed’ group. This suggests that mucosal immunity found in the ’intensive’ group is lower when compared to the ‘relaxed’ group. Our data suggest that athlete horses may be less poised to mount an effective mucosal immunity response to environmental challenges and should not be considered by the same perspectives as a free-ranging horse.


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