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Validation of Brix refractometer to estimate colostrum immunoglobulin G content and composition in the sow

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  06 May 2016

S. M. K. Hasan
Affiliation:
Department of Production Animal Medicine, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Agnes Sjöbergin katu 2, 00014 University of Helsinki, Finland
S. Junnikkala
Affiliation:
Department of Veterinary Biosciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Agnes Sjöbergin katu 2, 00014 University of Helsinki, Finland
A. Valros
Affiliation:
Department of Production Animal Medicine, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Agnes Sjöbergin katu 2, 00014 University of Helsinki, Finland
O. Peltoniemi
Affiliation:
Department of Production Animal Medicine, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Agnes Sjöbergin katu 2, 00014 University of Helsinki, Finland
C. Oliviero
Affiliation:
Department of Production Animal Medicine, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Agnes Sjöbergin katu 2, 00014 University of Helsinki, Finland
Corresponding
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Abstract

Colostrum is an essential source of immunoglobulin G (IgG) for neonate piglets. However, colostrum IgG content and nutritional composition can vary considerably among sows due to age, parity, feeding regime and immunological background. Currently, there is no practical way to obtain information about colostrum IgG concentration at herd level. We evaluated sows’ colostrum IgG content on-farm using a Brix refractometer and its performance was compared with that of an IgG ELISA. In addition, nutritional compositions of the colostrum samples were analyzed using Fourier transform IR spectroscopy. Colostrum samples (5 to 6 ml) (n=153) were obtained within 0 to 3 h of farrowing. However, to obtain a 24 h IgG profile for 11 sows, colostrum samples were collected at 0, 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 16 and 24 h after farrowing. A 0.3 ml of freshly drawn colostrum sample was used for the on-farm measurement of Brix percentages using a digital refractometer shortly after collection. The remaining fractions of the samples were frozen and submitted to laboratory analysis for total IgG, using a commercially available pig IgG ELISA kit. For nutritional composition analysis, a 35 ml colostrum sample (n=34) was obtained immediately after birth of first piglet from the first three pairs of frontal teats. Colostrum concentrations of IgG averaged 52.03±30.70 mg/ml (mean±SEM) at 0 to 3 h after farrowing. Concentration of IgG decreased on average by 50% during the 1st day of lactation (P<0.01). Sow parity did not influence colostrum concentrations of IgG. Differences in colostrum composition were recorded between two herds and among the parity groups (P<0.05). The Brix refractometer measurement of colostrum and the corresponding log transformed IgG measurements from the ELISA were moderately correlated (r=0.63, P<0.001, n=153). Based on the classification we suggest here, low levels of IgG (14.5±1.8 mg/ml) were recorded for colostrum samples with Brix readings below 20%. Borderline colostrum IgG content (43.8±2.3 mg/ml) had Brix readings of 20% to 24%, adequate colostrum IgG content (50.7±2.1 mg/ml) had Brix % readings of 25% to 29% and very good IgG colostrum content (78.6±8.4 mg/ml) had Brix readings >30%. Colostrum IgG concentration is highly variable among sows, Brix measurement of a sows’ fresh colostrum is an inexpensive, rapid and satisfactorily accurate method of estimating IgG concentration, providing indication of differentiation between good and poor IgG content of colostrum.

Type
Research Article
Information
animal , Volume 10 , Issue 10 , October 2016 , pp. 1728 - 1733
Copyright
© The Animal Consortium 2016 

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