Passive immunity in lambs: Colostral and serum γ-glutamyltransferase as a predictor of IgG concentration and related to the diseases from birth to 12 weeks of life
The main goal of this study was to find a link between colostrum and the 1-day-old lamb serum γ-glutamyltransferase (GGT) activity and immunoglobulin G (IgG) concentration and their relation with neonatal diseases and beyond. Further, to set a linear relationship between the serum GGT activity (SGGTA) and the IgG concentration (SIgGC) in different days of the neonatal period, thereby determining the feasibility of the GGT activity in the prediction of the colostrum quality and passive immunity and to define a cut-off point for the SGGTA associated with an increased risk of illness or death in lambs. For this purpose, blood samples were obtained from the lambs before the colostrum intake (day 0) and on different days (1, 2, 4, 7, 14 and 28) in the neonatal period. The colostrum was collected from the respective ewes (n = 254) related to the lambs. The most accurate (R2 = 0.652) model for predicting the SIgGC or passive immune status was the multiple regression model developed to calculate ln[IgG] from ln[GGT] in healthy neonatal lambs using the serum GGT and IgG values of day 0, 1, 2, 4, 7, 14 and 28. The In[GGT] activity at 24 h after birth in lambs that died or became ill during the neonatal period accounted for approximately 77% and 88% of the variation in the ln[IgG] concentration at 24 h after birth, respectively. The study revealed that SGGTA-24 > 500 IU may be considered as a critical cut-off point for the adequate colostral passive transfer. This study also disclosed that the colostral GGT activity might be used as an indicator to determine the colostrum quality.
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