TitleEffect of supranutritional maternal and colostral selenium supplementation on passive absorption of immunoglobulin G in selenium-replete dairy calves.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsHall, JA, Bobe, G, Vorachek, WR, Estill, CT, Mosher, WD, Pirelli, GJ, Gamroth, M
JournalJournal of dairy science
Date Published2014 Jul

Selenium (Se) is an essential micronutrient for ruminant animals affecting both performance and immune functions. Adding 3 mg of Se/L (in the form of Na selenite) to colostrum has been shown to improve IgG absorption in Se-deficient newborn dairy calves. The objective of our study was to determine the effect of supranutritional maternal and colostral Se supplementation on IgG status of Se-replete dairy calves. The study design was a 2 × 2 × 2 factorial design. During the last 8 wk before calving, dairy cows at a commercial dairy were fed either 0 (control cows) or 105 mg of Se-yeast once weekly (supranutritional Se-yeast-supplemented cows), in addition to Na selenite at 0.3 mg of Se/kg of DM in their ration. After birth, calves were fed pooled colostrum from control or supranutritional Se-yeast-supplemented cows to which 0 or 3 mg of Se/L (in the form of Na selenite) was added. Concentrations of whole-blood (WB) Se and serum Se measured at birth and at 48 h and 14 d of age, and serum IgG concentrations measured at 48 h and 14 and 60 d of age were determined. Calves born to Se-yeast-supplemented cows had higher WB-Se and serum-Se concentrations for the first 2 wk, and higher IgG absorption efficiency (62% at 48 h), resulting in higher serum-IgG concentrations (43% at 48 h and 65% at 14 d) and higher total serum-IgG content (50% at 48 h and 75% at 14 d), compared with calves born to control cows. Calves that received colostrum with added Na selenite had higher WB-Se concentrations for the first 2 wk, but only at 14 d of age were serum-Se concentrations, serum-IgG concentrations (53% higher), and total serum-IgG content (56% higher) higher, compared with calves that were fed colostrum without added Na selenite. Calves born to Se-yeast-supplemented cows that received colostrum from Se-yeast cows without added Na selenite had a higher IgG absorption efficiency compared with all other treatment groups. Our results support that feeding cows supranutritional Se-yeast supplement during the dry period or spiking colostrum with Na selenite both improve IgG status of Se-replete calves.