Bovine group A rotavirus (RVA) is considered the major cause of diarrhea in intensively reared neonatal calves. Chicken egg yolk antibodies (IgY) are efficient in protecting neonatal calves from RVA diarrhea; however, the value of this intervention in calves once diarrhea has appeared is unclear. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the application of RVA-specific IgY as a passive treatment in those cases. The experimental groups were: G1=RVA-specific IgY treatment; G2=no Ab treatment; and G3=colostrum deprived+no Ab treatment. IgY treatment significantly reduced virus shedding, diarrhea duration and severity compared to G2 and G3 calves. However, it caused a partial suppression of systemic Ab responses to RVA that could be associated with less severe diarrhea. The oral treatment with IgY for 7days was associated with significantly higher antibody secreting cell responses in the calves compared with other groups of animals.
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Bovine; Chicken antibodies; IgY; Passive immunity; Rotavirus