Submitted to: Research Workers in Animal Diseases Conference Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/12/2000
Publication Date: 11/12/2000
Citation: EICHER, S.D., MCKEE, C., JOHNSON, T.R. VITAMIN C AND A BETA-GLUCAN PRODUCT EFFECTS ON NEONATAL CALF IMMUNITY. RESEARCH WORKERS IN ANIMAL DISEASES CONFERENCE PROCEEDINGS. 2000. P. 62.
Technical Abstract: Increased resistance of microorganisms to antibiotics points to a need for natural immunostimulants. Beta-glucan, a cell wall component of yeast, is a possible immunostimulant and may be an alternative to use of antibiotics. In this study we tested the efficacy of beta-glucan and vitamin C to enhance neonatal immune responses. Holstein heifers (n=48) were given supplements; control (Cont), beta-glucan (Bg), both beta-glucan and vitami C (Both), or vitamin C only (Vit C)) in milk replacer for 6 wk. Beta-glucan was fed at 2.5% of dry milk replacer and Vit C was given at 500mg/d. Plasma haptoglobin and IFN, and neutrophil phagocytosis and chemiluminescence were measured at wks 3 and 6. Cortisol and IgG were measured weekly. At wk 6 alveolar macrophage mRNA was analyzed using RT-PCR for IL-1, IL-1Ra and TNF expression. Chemiluminescence for wks 3 and 6 tended to be greater for Cont compared to Bg calves (P=.09). Phagocytosis tended to be higher at wk 6 for rBg calves compared to Both (P=.09) and Vit C only (P=.07). Calves given Both tended to have higher cortisol at wk 1 (P=.08) than Vit C only and Bg calves had greater cortisol at wk 4 (P<.05) than other treatments. Vit C calves had higher cortisol at wk 6 compared to the Cont and Both (P=.08 and P<.05, respectively). Vit C calves tended to have higher IgG compared to Cont at all weeks, (P<.1) and higher IgG than those given Both at wks 1,2,3, 6 (P<.08). Beta-glucan tended to have IgG than Cont and Both at wk 5 and 6 (P=.06 and P=.07 respectively). No significant differences were found for plasma haptoglobin and IFN, or IL-1, and IL-1Ra mRNA expression. Calves receiving Bg or Vit C supplements showed trends toward a stimulated immune response, but not with both.