Pregnant sows were immunised either actively by injecting a bacterial extract or a killed bacterial suspension prepared from serotype O138:K81(B), or passively by injecting antiserum or immunoglobulins prepared against an extract of the same organism. Antibodies to this organism were detected in serum from the colostrum-deprived piglets of these sows by means of bactericidal, passive cutaneous anaphylaxis, haemagglutination, and antiglobulin-haemagglutination tests. The evidence suggests that piglets may be passively sensitised as a result of the transfer of maternal antibody and that factors such as the character of the antibody and its fixation in the tissues may influence its detection in piglet serum. These results are discussed in relation to the role of hypersensitivity in the pathogenesis of in the newborn piglet.


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