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Effect of heat stress during late gestation on immune function and growth performance of calves: Isolation of altered colostral and calf factor


Maternal HT during late gestation decreased calf birth weight and weaning weight and compromised the passive IgG transfer, regardless of colostrum source. Feeding colostrum from HT cows during the dry period did not affect AEA or growth performance during the preweaning period, but seemed to impair humoral im- mune response during the first month of life. Further studies are necessary to further understand the effects of HT in utero on mechanisms of hyperthermia-induced intrauterine growth retardation, compromised AEA of IgG and cellular immunity, and the effects of feeding colostrum from HT cows on the calf’s overall immune response.


A. P. A. Monteiro, S. Tao, I. M. Thompson, and G. E. Dahl1
Department of Animal Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville 32611