Journal of dairy science

Immune responses in lactating Holstein cows supplemented with Cu, Mn, and Zn as sulfates or methionine hydroxy analogue chelates.

PMID 22818471


The aim of this study was to compare effects of inorganic sulfate versus chelated forms of supplemental Cu, Mn, and Zn on milk production, plasma and milk mineral concentrations, neutrophil activity, and antibody titer response to a model vaccination. Holstein cows (n=25) were assigned in 2 cohorts based on calving date to a 12-wk randomized complete block design study. The first cohort consisted of 17 cows that had greater days in milk (DIM; mean of 77 DIM at the start of the trial) than the second cohort of 8 cows (32 DIM at the start of the trial). Diets were formulated to supplement 100% of National Research Council requirements of Cu, Mn, and Zn by either inorganic trace minerals (ITM) in sulfate forms or chelated trace minerals (CTM) supplied as metal methionine hydroxy analog chelates, without accounting for trace mineral contribution from other dietary ingredients. Intake and milk production were recorded daily. Milk composition was measured weekly, and milk Cu, Mn, and Zn were determined at wk 0 and 8. Plasma Cu and Zn concentrations and neutrophil activity were measured at wk 0, 4, 8, and 12. Neutrophil activity was measured by in vitro assays of chemotaxis, phagocytosis, and reactive oxygen species production. A rabies vaccination was administered at wk 8, and vaccine titer response at wk 12 was measured by both rapid fluorescent focus inhibition test and ELISA. Analyzed dietary Cu was 21 and 23mg/kg, Mn was 42 and 46mg/kg, and Zn was 73 and 94mg/kg for the ITM and CTM diets, respectively. No effect of treatment was observed on milk production, milk composition, or plasma minerals. Dry matter intake was reduced for CTM compared with ITM cows, but this was largely explained by differences in body weight between treatments. Milk Cu concentration was greater for CTM than ITM cows, but this effect was limited to the earlier DIM cohort of cows and was most pronounced for multiparous compared with primiparous cows. Measures of neutrophil function were unaffected by treatment except for an enhancement in neutrophil phagocytosis with the CTM treatment found for the later DIM cohort of cows only. Rabies antibody titer in CTM cows was 2.8 fold that of ITM cows as measured by ELISA, with a trend for the rapid fluorescent focus inhibition test. Supplementation of Cu, Mn, and Zn as chelated sources may enhance immune response of early lactation dairy cows compared with cows supplemented with inorganic sources.