Effect of immunoglobulin G concentration in dairy cow colostrum and calf blood serum on Cryptosporidium spp. invasion in calves.
Aim: The research aimed to test the association between the level of immunoglobulin G (IgG) in bovine colostrum and calf blood serum and to evaluate its relation to Cryptosporidium spp. invasion in calves. Materials and Methods: Fresh colostrum and fecal specimens from cows (n=114) as well as blood and fecal specimens from newborn calves (n=114) were collected in the dairy cattle farm. Investigated calves were separated from their mothers directly after birth and received 2 L of colostrum in two separate feedings within the first 24 h. Blood samples were taken from calves at the age of 2 days. Coprological samples were taken from calves at the age of 1, 10, and 15 days. Both colostrum and fecal samples from cows were taken on the 1st day after calf birth. Rectal fecal samples were collected separately from each calf and cow into plastic bags. The collected calf serum samples and bovine colostrum samples were tested for bovine IgG by competitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay kit bovine Ig. To record oocysts of Cryptosporidium spp. in feces, the flotation method was used. Binomial logistic regression was performed to ascertain the effects of IgG in bovine colostrum and calf blood serum on the likelihood of Cryptosporidium spp. infection in calves. Results: The concentration of IgG in bovine colostrum was higher (70.7±26.6 g/L, mean±standard deviation) than that in calf blood serum (13.2±6.1 g/L); the statistically significant difference was 57.4 g/L (95% confidence interval, 52.4-62.4), t (124.872)=22.536, p<0.001. Mann-Whitney's U-test showed a significant difference between samples collected on days 10 and 15 of the experiment (U=1944, z=2.330, p=0.020). The higher number of oocysts in calf feces was recorded on day 15 (median=6.5) compared to day 10 (median=4). The prevalence of calf infection from days 10 to 15 increased from 26.3 to 45.6% and was at least 3 times higher than in cows. A statistically significant positive correlation was recorded between IgG concentration of cow colostrum and calf blood serum (r (114)=0.414, p=0.001), whereas a correlation between the concentration of IgG and the intensity of Cryptosporidium spp. infection was not recorded (p>0.05). The logistic regression model was not statistically significant (χ2(2)=0.013, p=0.99 (10 days) and χ2(2)=0.100, p=0.95 (15 days)). Conclusion: Mother passive transfer of immunity to the offspring through colostrum does not influence the susceptibility of calves to Cryptosporidium infestation.