Acta Univ. Agric. Silvic. Mendelianae Brun. 2019, 67, 163-172
Published online 2019-02-28

Prevalence of Failure of Passive Transfer of Immunity in Dairy Calves in the Czech Republic

Stanislav Staněk1, Eliška Nejedlá1, Petr Fleischer2, Alena Pechová3, Soňa Šlosárková2

1Department of Livestock Technology and Management, Institute of Animal Science, Přátelství 815, 104 00 Prague 10 ‑ Uhříněves, Czech Republic
2Department of Immunology, Hudcova 296/70, Veterinary Research Institute, 621 00 Brno, Czech Republic
3Department of Animal Protection, Welfare and Behaviour, Palackého 1946/1, University of Veterinary and Pharmaceutical Sciences Brno, 612 42 Brno, Czech Republic

Received November 8, 2018
Accepted November 27, 2018

Prevalence of failure of passive transfer (FPT) of immunity remains relatively high worldwide. The aim of this study was to estimate the FPT prevalence in Czech dairy calves and to evaluate the selected factors – breed, herd size, sex of calves, single versus twin births and the influence of the season of birth. A total of 1,175 serum samples were taken from calves of Czech Fleckvieh and Holstein breed from 33 herds between October 2015 and October 2017. Serum IgG concentration was determined by reference method for IgG determination – radial immunodiffusion. Statistical evaluation was performed by Kruskal‑Wallis test. The concentration of IgG ranged from 1.5 to 46.6 g/L with average value 13.7 g/L and was significantly influenced by breed, size of the herd and season. Using the criterion IgG < 10 g/L, it was found that 34.6 % of calves had FPT. The prevalence of FPT by breed was 42.9 % vs. 24.2 % (Czech Fleckvieh vs. Holstein), by size of the herd 45.0, 44.4, 25.5 and 22.0 % (< 200, 200–399, 400–599 and ≥ 600 cows per herd, respectively) and by season 25.3, 34.6, 29.9 and 52.5 % (spring, summer, autumn and winter, respectively). The sex of calves was not found to be a statistically significant factor. The study in newborn calves showed that FPT is still an important problem in Czech dairy herds, especially in the Czech Fleckvieh breed. In smaller herds and especially in the winter, the prevalence of FPT was very high.


This work was supported by the Ministry of Agriculture of the Czech Republic Grant NAZV No. QJ1510219 and the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports of the Czech Republic (LO1218).


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