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Transfer of tumour necrosis factor-α via colostrum to foals
  1. E. J. Secor,
  2. M. B. Matychak and
  3. M. J. B. Felippe, DVM, MS, PhD, Diplomate ACVIM
  1. Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA
  1. Correspondence to Felippe, e-mail:mbf6{at}

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

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  • Provenance not commissioned; externally peer reviewed

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