Med. Weter. 70 (4), 237-241, 2014

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Król J., Litwińczuk Z., Brodziak A., Karasińska A.
Immunoglobulin G content in milk with regard to breed and age of cows and stage of lactation
The aim of the study was to analyze the content of immunoglobulin G in milk, with regards to selected physiological (age of cows, stage of lactation), environmental (production season, somatic cell count) and genetic (breed of cows) factors. The study included five breeds of dairy cows: i.e. Polish Holstein-Friesian – Black-White and Red-White varieties, Jersey, Simmental, Polish Red and Whiteback. Milk samples were collected solely from cows with healthy mammary glands; during trial milking which occurred twice a year, once in the winter season, and again in the summer season. In each breed group, according to the breeding documentation, the cows (40 heads in the season) were selected in the appropriate age class (lactation I, II, III and IV) and stage of lactation (up to 120 days, from 121 to 200 days and from 201 to 305 days). A total of 480 milk samples were examined. In each sample the following parameters were determined: somatic cell count (SCC), percentage of protein, including casein, and lactose, concentration of selected whey proteins, i.e. α-LA, β-LG and lactoferrin, and the level of immunoglobulin G (IgG). It has been shown that the cows of local breeds produced a raw material with a higher content of immunoglobulin G. IgG concentration in the milk increased with the subsequent lactations, which might be associated with the significant rise in level of somatic cells with the age of cows, as it was indicated by the significant interaction (p≤0.01) obtained between subsequent lactation and SCC. IgG content also varied significantly during the course of lactation, reaching a peak in the final stage. Moreover, a significant effect of SCC on IgG level in milk was found, which was confirmed by the high value of the correlation coefficient obtained (r=0.507). A statistically (p≤0.05) significant interaction between breed and SCC for IgG content in milk may indicate a different sensitivity of the analyzed breeds of cows on the somatic cell count increase. This may be due to a variable permeability of the blood-milk barrier in mammary glands.
Key words: milk, IgG