Influence of calf genotype on colostral immunoglobulins in Bos taurus and Bos indicus cows and serum immunoglobulins in their calves. Academic Article uri icon


  • Purebred Bos indicus calves are documented to have lower survival rates than Bos taurus calves. Thus, this study was designed to investigate the possibility that this decreased survival rate may be attributed to dam colostral immunoglobulin (Ig) concentrations and subsequent calf serum Ig concentrations. The specific objective was to determine the effect of breed type of calf on colostrum production, immunoglobulin concentrations in colostrum and calf serum, and availability and absorption efficiency of Ig. Brahman (B) and Angus (A) cattle were reciprocally mated to produce calves of the following types: A x A (n = 8), A x B (n = 9), B x B (n = 11), and B x A (n = 11). At birth, calves were separated from their dams and a blood sample was collected before feeding pooled colostrum (30 mL/kg birth weight) at 1 and 6 h of age. From 6 to 12 h of age, each calf was placed in a box that allowed interaction with the dam but prevented suckling. At 12 h of age, each calf was fed its dam's colostrum and placed with the dam. Additional blood samples were collected at 12, 24, and 48 h after birth. Serum and colostrum samples were analyzed for IgG, IgG1, IgG2, IgM, and IgA using single radial immunodiffusion (RID) assay techniques. The cows were hand-milked after induction of milk letdown with oxytocin at 1 and 12 h after calving. Colostrum volume was recorded, and samples were collected. Brahman cows produced more (P < .001) colostrum at 1 and 12 h than A cows. Total Ig concentrations were obtained by summing IgG, IgG1, IgG2, IgM, and IgA concentrations. Total Ig (P < .02), IgG (P < .005), and IgA (P < .01) concentrations in colostrum were greater in cows producing crossbred calves. Total Ig (P < .006), IgG (P < .02), IgG1 (P < .004), and IgG2 (P < .02) available in colostrum were affected by B x B and A x B breed types of calf. Brahman cows had more Ig available at 1 and 12 h than A cows due to increased production of colostrum. Breed type influenced colostral Ig in cattle. Serum concentrations of total Ig, IgG, IgG1, IgG2, IgM, and IgA in the calf and efficiency of absorption at 6 and 12 h were not affected by breed type, sex of calf, or any interaction.

published proceedings

  • J Anim Sci

author list (cited authors)

  • Vann, R. C., Holloway, J. W., Carstens, G. E., Boyd, M. E., & Randel, R. D.

citation count

  • 21

complete list of authors

  • Vann, RC||Holloway, JW||Carstens, GE||Boyd, ME||Randel, RD

publication date

  • October 1995