In most cases, failure of passive transfer (FPT) of immunity from mare to foal is easily remedied simply by assisting the foal to suckle, providing a colostrum supplement or administering an oral or intravenous IgG boost. The critical requirement for survival in FPT is diagnosis within that first 24 hours.
Foal blood IgG concentration of 4mg/ml or less is generally considered indicative of complete FPT, with between 4 and 8mg/ml raising concerns for a partial failure. IgG concentrations of 8mg/ml and above not only indicate the successful transfer of maternal immunity, but show that the foal is feeding normally with all the benefit of a healthy bond between mare and foal.
Accurately measuring foal IgG in that all important first 24 hours requires a veterinary field test that that’s robust, reliable and simple to use under primitive conditions without access to even basic laboratory facilities. As with any field test, a long and un-refrigerated shelf life is a practical necessity together with wide-ranging sample acceptance and clear-cut interpretation.
“A quick response from an all-in-one field test that needs only ambient storage and performs with equal precision on anticoagulant blood, serum or plasma can be truly lifesaving,” says Vetlab Supplies CEO, Mike Fleming describing the performance of his recently launched Megacor FASTest© Equine IgG kit. Mike continues: “Vets can now support breeders and buyers with a reliable, on the spot assessment of a foal’s immune status.”
In ten-test packs, the lateral flow immuno-chromatographic cassette is a true ‘touch once and wait’ test giving a clear colour-change indication of complete FPT, partial FPT or normal IgG levels underpinned by an in-built quality control. Concludes Mike: “There’s never been a simpler, cost effective and potentially life saving test for immune deficiency in new born foals”.