Passive transfer of maternal antibodies via colostrum is important to protect newborn ruminants against microbial pathogens. In this study, 10 sets of calf serum, a sample of the colostrum fed to the calf, and serial fecal samples through the first 6 days after birth were collected from arbitrarily selected newborn Holstein heifers. A recombinant Cryptosporidium parvum p23, termed rC7, was used to determine whether anti–C. parvum antibodies can be detected in clinically normal neonates. The results demonstrated that serum, the associated colostrum, and fecal samples contained anti-rC7 antibodies. IgM and IgG1 anti-rC7 tended to be present in highest titers. The presence of specific antibodies to C. parvum was confirmed using Western blots of purified sporozoite membranes probed with serum and colostral whey. Collectively, the results indicated that neonatal calves had antibodies to C. parvum as early as 1 day after birth and suggested that the antibodies were passively transferred.

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