Objective - To determine the effects of pasteurization of colostrum on serum lactoferrin concentration and neutrophil oxidative function by comparing values from calves given pasteurized (76 C, 15 minutes) colostrum versus calves given fresh frozen colostrum. Animals - 8 Holstein bull calves were used to study the effects of pasteurization of colostrum on the absorption of lactoferrin and neutrophil oxidative burst. Three additional calves were used to study the effect of exogenous lactoferrin on neutrophil oxidative burst. Methods - Calves were fed fresh frozen or heat pasteurized colostrum (76 C for 15 minutes) via esophageal feeder within 4 hours of birth. Neutrophils were isolated from whole blood samples. Neutrophil oxidative burst was induced by phorbol ester (300 ng/ml) stimulation of cells (1 × 106 cells) at 37 C. Serum lactoferrin concentrations were compared, using immunoblot analysis. Serum IgG concentrations were determined by radial immunoassay. Comparisons were made between the use of the 2 types of colostrum in calves by measuring subsequent serum IgG and lactoferrin concentrations and neutrophil superoxide production. Results - Serum IgG and lactoferrin concentrations increased more in calves receiving fresh frozen colostrum. Neutrophil superoxide production was higher in neutrophils prepared from calves receiving fresh frozen colostrum. Colostral lactoferrin addition to neutrophil incubations resulted in increased oxidative burst. Conclusions and Clinical Relevance - Compared with calves given fresh frozen colostrum, calves given pasteurized colostrum had decreased serum IgG and lactoferrin concentrations and neutrophil superoxide production 24 hours after administration. These results suggest that pasteurizing bovine colostrum at 76 C for 15 minutes has substantial effects on passive transfer of proteins and neutrophil function. (Am J Vet Res 2000;61:1019-1025).
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