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The effects of mineral supplementation to ewes in late pregnancy on Immunoglobulin G absorption by their lambs

  • T. M. Boland (a1), P.O. Brophy, J. J. Callan (a1), P.J. Quinn (a1), P. Nowakowski (a2) and T.F. Crosby (a1)...


High levels of mineral supplementation to ewes in late gestation results in reduced blood serum immunoglobulin G (IgG) concentration and a lowered efficiency of colostral IgG absorption at 24h post partum (Boland et al., 2003). Given that lambs are born hypogammaglobulinemic and are dependent on the absorption of immunoglobulins from colostrum for immunity in early life, this decrease in serum IgG concentration is likely to present a significant challenge to the neonatal lamb in relation to disease susceptibility. The aim of this experiment was to determine which element(s) in the mineral supplement are having the greatest effect in reducing colostral IgG absorption and if the removal of this element(s) from the formulation would result in a return to what might be considered as normal immunoglobulin absorption values.


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Boland, T. M., Brophy, P.O., Callan, J. J., Quinn, P.J., Nowakowski, P and Crosby, T.F. 2003. The effects of mineral block ingredients when offered to ewes in late pregnancy on Immunoglobulin G (IgG) absorption in their lambs. Proceedings of the British Society of Animal Science Winter Meeting, York. p197
Fahey, J.L. and McKelvey, E.M. 1965. Quantitative determination of serum immunoglobulins in antibody agar plates. Journal of Immunology 94: 8490.
McEwan, A.D., Fisher, E.W., Selman, I.E. and Penhale, W.J. 1970. A turbidity test for the estimation of immune globulin levels in neonatal calf serum. Clinica Chimica Acta 27: 155163.


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