Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Dairy Science


Since biblical times man has depended upon the cow for nourishment. The cow’s contribution to human and animal welfare has been tremendous. These contributions may be increased by artificially producing antibodies in milk. In view of recent experiments the established theory that antibodies cannot pass the intestinal wall after the animal is a few days of age may not be true. Much information has been gathered to support this theory. Since the mammary gland is capable of producing a considerable quantity of antibodies and since antibodies inhibit disease, the milk should be an excellent source of antibodies for disease protection via passive immunity. The newborn calf is dependent upon colostrum which is the maternal source of passive immunity and only under special circumstances can calves be reared without colostrum. Ehrlich (13) postulated that colostrum had specific antibodies which were absorbed by the young, and that this factor gave protection from certain diseases. The udder may be stimulated to produce antibodies by the direct introduction of antigens through the teat meatus. The antigen stimulates the secretory tissue to produce specific antibody. By this method antibody production is prompt and reaches a high level; however, maintenance of this level is short. The type of immunity acquired by ingesting antibodies from milk is passive immunity and is temporary. The immunity transferred by milk depends upon the antibody present in the gamma globulin resulting from the injected antigen. Immune milk varies in no way from ordinary milk either in physical characteristics, consistency or chemical composition except for the amount of specific antibody it contains. The work described in this manuscript deals with both the production of antibodies within the udder and the absorption of antibodies antigens as Brucella abortus, Salmonella pullorum and Salmonella cholera suis are described. The ability of these antigens to stimulate antibody production when introduced into the mammary gland is sufficiently clear in this study. That these antibodies can pass through the wall of the intestine is not clearly demonstrated, but experiments of this sort are described.

Library of Congress Subject Headings



Includes bibliographical references (pages 61-67)



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


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