This study aimed to determine whether TNF-α is transferred to equine neonates via colostrum and the relationship between TNF-α and IgG concentrations in the equine neonate. Colostrum, presuckle and postsuckle foal serum samples were collected from healthy mares and their foals. Equine TNF-α ELISA and IgG SRID kits were used to determine the concentrations of TNF-α and IgG, respectively. Statistical analysis was performed using the Spearman rank correlation. TNF-α concentrations in all presuckle foal serum were below the limit of detection in 15/16 foals and increased in postsuckle foal serum to a mean concentration of 7.7 x 104 pg/ml. TNF-α concentrations in postsuckle foal serum and colostrum showed significant correlation (rho=0.668; P=0.005). However, TNF-α and IgG concentrations in colostrum or postsuckle foal serum did not correlate (rho<−0.016; P>0.05). Ratios of TNF-α/IgG in colostrum or postsuckle foal serum showed significant correlation (rho=0.750; P=0.0008). These results indicate that TNF-α is transferred to the foal via colostrum absorption and may play a role in early immunity
- Accepted September 22, 2011.
- British Veterinary Association
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Provenance not commissioned; externally peer reviewed