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      Immunoglobulins in piglets from sows heat-stressed prepartum.

      Journal of animal science

      Animals, Animals, Newborn, blood, Colostrum, analysis, Female, Hot Temperature, adverse effects, Hydrocortisone, Immunoglobulin G, Pregnancy, Pregnancy, Animal, physiology, Stress, Physiological, physiopathology, veterinary, Swine

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          Sows were subjected to moderate heat stress in a chamber (32 C) from d 100 of pregnancy until less than 8 h before delivery of first piglet, while control sows were in a thermoneutral chamber (21 C) or farrowing house (22 C). Blood serum and colostrum at parturition of heat-stressed sows and their piglets' serum at birth had elevated cortisol concentrations. Total protein, globulin and immunoglobulin G (IgG) concentrations in sow serum tended to decrease as parturition time was approached; albumin did not change. Total protein and IgG concentrations in colostrum at parturition and in milk 24 and 48 h later tended to be lower in heat-stressed sows. Concentrations of these four protein fractions (total, globulin, IgG and albumin) in piglet serum at birth did not differ among treatment groups, but soon after colostrum ingestion they increased markedly in all groups. Therefore, in all groups total protein remained constant while globulin and IgG decreased. Globulin concentration on d 1 was lowest in piglets from heat-stressed sows, but its rate of decrease after d 1 was not affected by sow treatment. Immunoglobulin G concentration was 11 mg/ml lower, but its rate of decrease through postnatal d 20 was slower in piglets from heat-stressed sows than in those from control sows; a 10-mg/ml difference in IgG concentration on postnatal d 1 has been associated with increased preweaning mortality in piglets. Higher cortisol concentration in serum and lower IgG in colostrum of sows under heat stress was associated in their piglets with higher serum cortisol at birth and lower serum IgG for the first 20 d postnatum.

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