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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The provision of passive immunity to colostrum-deprived piglets by bovine or porcine serum immunoglobulins, iron chelators and viable leukocytes Drew, Murray D.


This thesis examines the effect of supplementing sow milk replacers fed to colostrum deprived piglets with 1) bovine or porcine immunoglobulins; 2) synthetic iron chelators and 3) viable leukocytes. Piglets require dietary immunoglobulins during the first day after birth to provide passive systemic immunity. Piglets that did not receive immunoglobulins during this period had survival rates of 19% and 0% in two different experiments. Bovine immunoglobulins on day 1 after birth were poorly absorbed from the diet resulting in inadequate plasma immunoglobulin concentrations, low survival and low weight gains compared to piglets that received porcine immunoglobulins on day 1. During the days 2-14, however, piglets receiving either bovine or porcine immunoglobulins were equal in survival and growth rates. The milk protein lactoferrin protects piglets from enteric infections by binding ionic iron making, it unavailable to bacteria and preventing bacterial growth. Two synthetic iron chelators, ethylenediamine-di-orthohydroxyphenyl acetic acid (EDDA) and N,N'-bis(o-hydroxybenzyl)-ethylenediamine diacetic acid (HBED) have affinities for iron similar to lactoferrin's and are potential substitutes for lactoferrin in sow milk replacers. The antibacterial properties of lactoferrin, EDDA and HBED were compared in vitro. Lactoferrin and EDDA inhibited the growth of E. coli 0 157 K88 over a 12 hour period while HBED had no effect on the growth of this organism. When EDDA or HBED were fed to piglets on days 2-14, those that received HBED had low survival and growth rates. Piglets that received EDDA had growth rates similar to those receiving porcine immunoglobulins from days 2-14. When EDDA was fed during days 1-14 however piglet growth rates were depressed. This was probably due to higher absorption of EDDA during day 1. Dietary EDDA also increased the excretion of iron in the urine and feces and decreased the incorporation of iron into hemoglobin. The feeding of viable leukocytes derived from abattoir blood to artificially reared piglets fed porcine immunoglobulins resulted in increased cell mediated immune responses in 2 of 4 litters. The major histocompatibility complex types of the donor and recipient of the leukocytes may be responsible for the inconsistent results. Porcine immunoglobulins (25 mg mL⁻¹ on day 1, followed by either bovine or porcine immunoglobulins (5 mg mL⁻¹) on days 2-14 provided adequate passive immunity, survival and growth rates in colostrum deprived piglets.

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