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Studies on the supply of immunoglobulin G to newborn camel calves (Camelus dromedarius)

  • ROLF KAMBER (a1), ZAKARIA FARAH (a2), PETER RUSCH (a1) and MICHAEL HASSIG (a1)

Abstract

A major problem in camel productivity is the high mortality rate of camel calves in the first 3 months. The causes for mortality are mainly poor management practice and infectious diseases. The purpose of this research, carried out on a ranch in Kenya, was to determine the immunoglobulin G (IgG) concentration in camel colostrum as well as the extent of the calves' passive immunization by maternal antibodies. IgG concentration in colostrum and in the serum of the calf were measured during the first 3 d of life. Evaluation was carried out by comparing the respective values with those for horses and cattle. The average IgG concentration in the camel colostrum was higher than that found in literature for horses and cattle. IgG concentration in the serum of the camel calves reached its maximum 24 h after birth. In 39% of the examined calves, this maximum concentration was below 4 g/l, which is considered to be the critical value in horses and cattle. 61% of the calves achieved an IgG concentration of over 4 g/l. Since there is no correlation between IgG level in colostrum and early mortality, the results indicate that low colostrum intake during the first 24 h of life and not low IgG concentration in colostrum is presumably one of the main causes of early calf mortality. Therefore, it was recommended that the care of the newborn calves by herdsmen should be improved.

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Corresponding author

For correspondence: zakaria.farah@ilw.agrl.ethz.ch

Keywords

Studies on the supply of immunoglobulin G to newborn camel calves (Camelus dromedarius)

  • ROLF KAMBER (a1), ZAKARIA FARAH (a2), PETER RUSCH (a1) and MICHAEL HASSIG (a1)

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