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TDK conference 2018

Research about the newborn pigs' antibody level
Németh Szilvia - year 6
University of Veterinary Medicine Budapest, Department and Clinic of Food Animal Medicine
Supervisor: Dr. András Horváth


The chance for surviving and the growth-rate of the neonates correlates positively to a great extent with the antibody-supplement (immunoglobuline or igG) of the new-born piglets, which they ingest from the mother’s colostrum in the first few hours of life. The aim of the authors was to examine the issue of how the reproductive parameters influence the IgG-level of the piglets. The experiments were performed on an inland, highly populated pig-farm. In order to find out this, we collected blood samples from piglets (n=364, with an average of 8 piglets per litter) stemming from multiparous sows (n=45) 24 hours post partum. We applied two methods to measure the IgG-content of the blood samples: We used solutions with 40 percent of ammonium-sulphate to form precipitation, then we used either the so-called immunocrite (IC) technique or measured the total protein content with refraktometry (RF). Furthermore, we noted the size of each litter, the gender of the piglets, the body weight at the time of birth, the body weight at the time of weaning, number of piglets with pre-weaning mortality, and the parity of the sows.

However, there was a strong coherence between the IgG-values measured with the IC and the RF method (P <0,05) and the correlation measured between these two methods showed a strong relationship (R2=0,69).

The IgG-values of the piglets at the time of birth was only influenced – irrespectively of the fact if it was measured with the IC or RF method – by the body weight from all the factors mentioned above.

The body weight of the piglets at birth is influenced by the parity of the sows, increasing by 40 grams with each parity. The greater the body weight of a piglet was at the time of birth, the higher the concentration of the IgG was in its blood.

The pre-weaning mortality was defined by the IgG-concentration and the body weight at birth. This relationship could be confirmed with both the IC and the RF method, which means that both methods are reliable under practical conditions.

The body weight of the piglets at weaning is primarily influenced by the body weight at birth and not by the IgG-concentrations in their blood. However, the growth-rate in body weight was greater in those piglets which were born with lower body weight, they never reached the body weight of those ones having been born with a greater body weight, until the time of weaning.

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