Lactoferrin supplementation of the neonatal calf has no impact on immunoglobulin G absorption and intestinal development in the first days of life


The objectives of this study were to determine if newborn calves receiving supplemental lactoferrin (LF) had improved IgG uptake and if supplemental LF enhanced intestinal development through estimation of xylose uptake. Twenty-four newborn Holstein bull calves were randomly assigned to 1 of 2 treatments: 0 or 1 g/d of supplemental LF. Calves were fed pooled maternal colostrum from 9 cows in 2 feedings: at birth and 12 h later. Calves consumed in excess of 200 g of IgG. Blood samples were taken before colostrum feeding (0 h) and at 12, 18, and 24 h after birth. Blood samples were analyzed for IgG concentration. On d 2 of life, calves were fed milk replacer with the added LF and 0.5 g/kg of BW xylose to determine if supplemental LF affected intestinal development. Blood was sampled at 0, 0.5, 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, and 12 h after the xylose dose. All calves attained passive transfer and supplemental LF did not affect IgG uptake (P ≥ 0.36) or apparent efficiency of absorption of IgG (P = 0.49). Lactoferrin did not enhance rate of absorption at any time point (P ≥ 0.36). There were no differences in xylose (P = 0.28) or glucose (P = 0.27) area under the curve values in calves supplemented with either 0 or 1 g/d LF. Lactoferrin did not enhance IgG uptake during the first 24 h or intestinal development in calves on the second day of life.


Biological Sciences

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Journal of Animal Science


Oxford University Press

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