The concentration of immunoglobulins in faecal extracts was investigated as a method of assessing the production of immunoglobulins by the gut mucosa of 137 dogs. There were significant correlations between the concentrations in faecal extracts and the concentrations produced in duodenal organ cultures. Seventy-six German shepherd dogs had significantly lower median immunoglobulin A (IgA) concentrations in their faecal extracts than 63 controls of various breeds. Sixteen of the German shepherd dogs had IgA concentrations below the 95 per cent confidence limit of the control population and six had no demonstrable faecal IgA. The faecal concentrations of immunoglobulin G and albumin were significantly higher in the German shepherd dogs than in the controls, but their immunoglobulin M concentrations were similar.
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