The effect of feeding egg yolk multi- antibodies on growth performance, some blood parameters and feces microbial culture in suckling Holstein calves

Document Type : Research Paper


Department of Animal Science, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of Tehran, Karaj, Iran.


The present study was conducted to evaluate the effect of supplementing egg yolk multi-antibodies against diarrhea pathogens on growth performance, hematological parameters, and feces microbial culture of Holstein suckling calves. 48 calves (male and female) were randomly assigned to three treatments and kept individually from 1 to 28 days of age. The treatments included the group fed with immunopro supplement (containing egg yolk multi-antibody and various probiotics, prebiotics, vitamins, and electrolytes) (IP), the positive control group containing all components of the treatment group without multi-antibody (C+) and the negative control group (C-). Feed intake was recorded every day, body weight and Skeletal growth parameters of calves was recorded every seven days, hematological parameters were measured on day 1 and 28, and feces microbial culture parameters were measured on day 28. The use of IgY supplements increased body weight, daily weight gain, dry matter intake, and feed efficiency (P < 0.05). Skeletal growth parameters (withers height, hip height, hip width, and Heart girth), hematological parameters, and feces microbial culture parameters were not affected by the experimental treatments. The use of IgY supplement decreased feces score, duration of diarrhea, and body temperature (P <0.05). The results suggested that the consumption of IgY against diarrhea pathogen's for up to 28 days promoted the immunity and health of Holstein's suckling calves.


Main Subjects

Extended Abstract


Diarrhea in premature calves is one of the most challenging clinical syndromes. It causes the death of calves within a few days after birth, leading to significant economic losses in the industry. This disease usually occurs in calves aged 2 to 8 weeks, and its severity decreases with age. Immunoglobulin Y (IgY) has been proposed as an alternative strategy to antibiotics for the prevention and treatment of gastrointestinal tract infections through oral passive immunization. Despite research on egg yolk immunoglobulin (IgY), there are no reports evaluating the performance of multi-immunoglobulin Y and its effect on diarrhea in calves. Therefore, this research aimed to evaluate the effect of supplemental nutrition containing various egg yolk antibodies (against bovine rotaviruses, coronaviruses, Clostridium perfringens, and Escherichia coli) on weight, skeletal growth (withers height, hip height, hip width, and heart girth), daily weight gain, dry matter intake, feed efficiency, hematological parameters (white blood cells, red blood cells, platelets, percentage of basophils, neutrophils, eosinophils, lymphocytes, monocytes and red blood cell indices such as hemoglobin and packed cell volume), fecal microbial culture (Escherichia coli, coliforms, Lactobacillus), and health indicators (feces score, diarrhea duration, and body temperature), and the prevalence of diarrhea in nursing Holstein calves.


Materials & Methods

 Forty-eight Holstein calves with an average weight of 43.03 lbs were selected and kept for 28 days in individual stalls under a strict management program. Body weight was measured every seven days, and dry matter intake and health status were measured daily. On days 1, 7, 14, 21, and 28, blood samples were taken, kept at 4°C until reaching the laboratory, and then blood parameters were measured. Fecal samples were taken for microbial culture on day 28 and cultured in the laboratory.



 The results showed that body weight, daily weight gain, dry matter intake, and feed efficiency of calves increased in the experimental groups (P < 0.05). Skeletal growth parameters (withers height, hip height, hip width, and heart girth), some hematological parameters, and fecal microbial culture parameters were not affected by the treatments. The experimental treatments decreased the feces score, diarrhea duration, and body temperature in calves (P < 0.05). 



The present findings showed that preventing diarrhea from birth to 28 days can increase the calves' final weight at 28 days by increasing immunity and reducing diarrhea. Also, preventing diarrhea in the first seven days increased dry matter intake in the egg yolk immunoglobulin supplement-consuming group. Feeding a combination of probiotics and egg yolk antibody has a synergistic effect on reducing pathogens such as Escherichia coli and preventing diarrhea in newborn calves. The decrease in body temperature after taking the egg yolk immunoglobulin supplement can be related to its preventive effect on diarrhea.

علی‌اکبری، فریما، مهدوی، سید امیرحسین، و رحمانی، حمیدرضا. (1397). تولید و به‌کارگیری مؤثر آنتی‌بادی اختصاصی زرده‌ی تخم‌مرغ (IgY) برای مهار باکتری استافیلوکوکوس اورئوس. علوم دامی ایران (علوم کشاورزی ایران)، 49(1)، 63-71.
کرم زاده دهاقانی، امیر، توحیدی، آرمین، ژندی، مهدی، و مژگانی، ناهید. (1399). اثر تغذیه آنتی‌بادی زرده تخم‌مرغ اختصاصی ساخته شده علیه باکتری اشریشیاکلی انتروتوکسیژنیک K99 بر عملکرد رشد و سلامت گوساله‌های شیرخوار هلشتاین. تولیدات دامی (مجله کشاورزی پردیس ابوریحان)، 22(4)، 659-688.
رحیمی، شعبان، و اراک، هما. (1394). استفاده از آنتی‌بادی‌های اختصاصی تخم‌مرغ (IgY) در پیشگیری و درمان برخی از بیماری‌ها در انسان و حیوانات. همایش پژوهش‌های نوین در علوم دامی.
موسوی، زهرا، ازغندی، مرجان، اسدزاده، سعیده، شهریاری، الهه، کاظمی، وحید، گاراژیان، فواد، کاظمی، امین، و جوادمنش، علی. (1400). تولید ایمونوگلوبولین Y اختصاصی در زرده تخم‌مرغ علیه برخی پاتوژن‌های اسهال گوساله. تحقیقات دامپزشکی و فرآوردههای بیولوژیک (پژوهش و سازندگی)، 34(1 (پیاپی 130))، 69-75.
Bellingeri, R. V., Picco, N. Y., Alustiza, F. E., Grosso, M. C., & Vivas, A. (2018). Egg yolk antibodies and nanotechnology applied to animal health and production.
Berge, A. C. B., Moore, D. A., & Sischo, W. M. (2006). Field trial evaluating the influence of prophylactic and therapeutic antimicrobial administration on antimicrobial resistance of fecal Escherichia coli in dairy calves. Applied and environmental microbiology, 72(6), 3872-3878.
Britton, R. A., & Versalovic, J. (2008). Probiotics and gastrointestinal infections. Interdisciplinary perspectives on infectious diseases, 2008.
Carlander, D. (2002). Avian IgY antibody: in vitro and in vivo Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis].
Cho, Y. I., & Yoon, K. J. (2014). An overview of calf diarrhea - infectious etiology, diagnosis, and intervention. J Vet Sci, 15(1), 1-17.
Cromwell, G. L. (2002). Why and how antibiotics are used in swine production. Animal biotechnology, 13(1), 7-27.
Dibaji, S. M., Seidavi, A., Asadpour, L., & da Silva, F. M. (2014). Effect of a synbiotic on the intestinal microflora of chickens. Journal of Applied Poultry Research, 23(1), 1-6.
Duse, A., Waller, K. P., Emanuelson, U., Unnerstad, H. E., Persson, Y., & Bengtsson, B. (2015). Risk factors for antimicrobial resistance in fecal Escherichia coli from preweaned dairy calves. Journal of dairy science, 98(1), 500-516.
Glagoleva, T. I., & Medvedev, I. N. (2020). Physiological features of aggregation of the main formed elements of blood in calves at the beginning of early ontogenesis. BIO Web of Conferences,
Golbeck, L., Cohrs, I., Scheu, T., & Grünberg, W. (2019). Changes of the erythrocyte phenotype and blood biochemistry in dairy calves during the first ten weeks of age. PeerJ, 7, e7248.
Görgülü, M. (2003). Effect of Probiotic on Growing Performance and Health of Calves Murat Görgülü, " Alicja Siuta, Emine Öngel, Sabri Yurtseven, Hasan Rüştü Kutlu. Pakistan Journal of Biological Science, 6(7), 651-654.
Hulbert, L. E., & Moisá, S. J. (2016). Stress, immunity, and the management of calves. Journal of dairy science, 99(4), 3199-3216.
Jatkauskas, J., & Vrotniakiene, V. (2010). Effects of probiotic dietary supplementation on diarrhoea patterns, faecal microbiota and performance of early weaned calves. Veterinarni Medicina, 55(10), 494-503.
karamzadeh-dehaghani, a., towhidi, A., Zhandi, m., & Mojgani, N. (2020). Effect of oral administration of prepared egg yolk antibodies against enterotoxigenic E. coli K99 on growth and health Performance of Holstein suckling Calves. Animal Production, 22(4), 659-688.
Karamzadeh-Dehaghani, A., Towhidi, A., Zhandi, M., Mojgani, N., & Fouladi-Nashta, A. (2021). Combined effect of probiotics and specific immunoglobulin Y directed against Escherichia coli on growth performance, diarrhea incidence, and immune system in calves. Animal, 15(2), 100124.
Li, X., Yao, Y., Wang, X., Zhen, Y., Thacker, P. A., Wang, L., Shi, M., Zhao, J., Zong, Y., & Wang, N. (2016). Chicken egg yolk antibodies (IgY) modulate the intestinal mucosal immune response in a mouse model of Salmonella typhimurium infection. International immunopharmacology, 36, 305-314.
Liu, B., Wang, C., Huasai, S., Han, A., Zhang, J., He, L., & Aorigele, C. (2022). Compound Probiotics Improve the Diarrhea Rate and Intestinal Microbiota of Newborn Calves. Animals, 12(3), 322.
Lorenz, I., Fagan, J., & More, S. J. (2011). Calf health from birth to weaning. II. Management of diarrhoea in pre-weaned calves. Irish veterinary journal, 64(1), 1-6.
Low, C. X., Tan, L. T.-H., Ab Mutalib, N.-S., Pusparajah, P., Goh, B.-H., Chan, K.-G., Letchumanan, V., & Lee, L.-H. (2021). Unveiling the impact of antibiotics and alternative methods for animal husbandry: A review. Antibiotics, 10(5), 578.
Markowiak, P., & Śliżewska, K. (2018). The role of probiotics, prebiotics and synbiotics in animal nutrition. Gut pathogens, 10(1), 1-20.
Mirzaei, M., Khorvash, M., Ghorbani, G., Kazemi-Bonchenari, M., & Ghaffari, M. (2017). Growth performance, feeding behavior, and selected blood metabolites of Holstein dairy calves fed restricted amounts of milk: No interactions between sources of finely ground grain and forage provision. Journal of dairy science, 100(2), 1086-1094.
Mousavi, Z., Azghandi, M., Asadzahe, S., Shahriyari, E., Kazemi, V., Garajian, F., Kazemi, A., & Javadmanesh, A. (2021). Production of Specific Immunoglobulin Y in Egg Yolk Against Some Calf Diarrhea Pathogens. Veterinary Researches & Biological Products, 34(1), 69-75.
Naylor, J. M. (2009). Neonatal calf diarrhea. Food Animal Practice, 70.
Quigley III, J., Drewry, J., Murray, L. M., & Ivey, S. (1997). Body weight gain, feed efficiency, and fecal scores of dairy calves in response to galactosyl-lactose or antibiotics in milk replacers. Journal of dairy science, 80(8), 1751-1754.
Riddell, J., Gallegos, A., Harmon, D., & Mcleod, K. (2010). Addition of a Bacillus based probiotic to the diet of preruminant calves: Influence on growth, health, and blood parameters1, 2, 3. Int J Appl ResVet M, 8, 78-85.
Shaw, H. J., Innes, E. A., Morrison, L. J., Katzer, F., & Wells, B. (2020). Long-term production effects of clinical cryptosporidiosis in neonatal calves. International journal for parasitology, 50(5), 371-376.
Shetawy, A. E., Bassiony, S. M., Abd El-Moniem, U. M., & Al-Marakby, K. M. (2022). EFFICACY OF USING PROBIOTICS CONTAINING Bacillus subtilis AND Bacillus licheniformis SPORES ON PERFORMANCE AND HEALTH OF HOLSTEIN SUCKLING CALVES. Zagazig Journal of Agricultural Research, 49(6), 865-878.
Signorini, M., Soto, L., Zbrun, M., Sequeira, G., Rosmini, M., & Frizzo, L. (2012). Impact of probiotic administration on the health and fecal microbiota of young calves: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials of lactic acid bacteria. Research in Veterinary Science, 93(1), 250-258.
Sitnik, O., Jawor, P., Kopec, W., Skiba, T., & Stefaniak, T. (2013). Production and characterization of egg yolk antibodies against bovine alimentary tract pathogens. Polish journal of veterinary sciences, 16(2).
Smith, G. (2015). Antimicrobial decision making for enteric diseases of cattle. Veterinary Clinics: Food Animal Practice, 31(1), 47-60.
Stotz, M. K., Henry, D. D., & Crossland, W. L. (2020). Evaluation of immunoglobulin-Y in place of tylosin phosphate in the diets fed to Holstein Steers and preliminary analysis of liver abscess duration on animal growth performance. Translational Animal Science, 5(1).
Studds, M. J., Deikun, L. L., Sorter, D. E., Pempek, J. A., & Proudfoot, K. L. (2018). Short communication: The effect of diarrhea and navel inflammation on the lying behavior of veal calves. Journal of dairy science, 101(12), 11251-11255.
System, N. A. H. M. (2007). Dairy 2007: Changes in the U.S. dairy cattle industry, 1991-2007. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Veterinary Services, National Animal Health Monitoring System.
Szczerbiec, D., Piechocka, J., Głowacki, R., & Torzewska, A. (2022). Organic Acids Secreted by Lactobacillus spp. Isolated from Urine and Their Antimicrobial Activity against Uropathogenic Proteus mirabilis. Molecules, 27(17), 5557.
Turner, J., Dritz, S., & Minton, J. (2001). Alternatives to conventional antimicrobials in swine diets. The Professional Animal Scientist, 17(4), 217-226.
van Kuijk, S., Kinkead, R., Scoley, G., Morrison, S., & Han, Y. (2021). Effect of immunized egg proteins on the performance and neonatal diarrhoea incidence in newborn calves. Journal of Animal Physiology and Animal Nutrition, 105(3), 462-469.
Vega, C., Bok, M., Chacana, P., Saif, L., Fernandez, F., & Parreño, V. (2011). Egg yolk IgY: protection against rotavirus induced diarrhea and modulatory effect on the systemic and mucosal antibody responses in newborn calves. Veterinary immunology and immunopathology, 142(3-4), 156-169.
Vega, C., Bok, M., Saif, L., Fernandez, F., & Parreño, V. (2015). Egg yolk IgY antibodies: A therapeutic intervention against group A rotavirus in calves. Research in Veterinary Science, 103, 1-10.
Wani, M. Y., Pandit, A. A., Begum, J., Ahmed, N., & Mir, M. S. (2022). Egg Yolk Antibodies: Production and applications in the diagnosis and treatment of animal diseases-A review: Applications of egg yolk antibodies. Letters In Animal Biology, 2(1), 32-40.