Reproduction of bovine neonatal pancytopenia (BNP) by feeding pooled colostrum reveals variable alloantibody damage to different haematopoietic lineages

Charlotte Bell, Mara S. Rocchi, Mark P. Dagleish, Eleonora Melzi, Keith T. Ballingall, Maira Connelly, Morag G. Kerr, Sandra F. E. Scholes, Kim Willoughby

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Bovine neonatal pancytopenia (BNP) is a recently described haemorrhagic disease of calves characterised by thrombocytopenia, leucopenia and bone marrow depletion. Feeding colostrum from cows that have previously produced a BNP affected calf has been shown to induce the disease in some calves, leading to the hypothesis that alloantibodies in colostrum from dams of affected calves mediate destruction of blood and bone marrow cells in the recipient calves. The aims of the current experimental study were first to confirm the role of colostrum-derived antibody in mediating the disease and second to investigate the haematopoietic cell lineages and maturation stages depleted by the causative antibodies. Clinical, haematological and pathological changes were examined in 5 calves given a standardised pool of colostrum from known BNP dams, and 5 control calves given an equivalent pool of colostrum from non-BNP dams. All calves fed challenge colostrum showed progressive depletion of bone marrow haematopoietic cells and haematological changes consistent with the development of BNP. Administration of a standardised dose of the same colostrum pool to each calf resulted in a consistent response within the groups, allowing detailed interpretation of the cellular changes not previously described. Analyses of blood and serial bone marrow changes revealed evidence of differential effects on different blood cell lineages. Peripheral blood cell depletion was confined to leucocytes and platelets, while bone marrow damage occurred to the primitive precursors and lineage committed cells of the thrombocyte, lymphocyte and monocyte lineages, but only to the more primitive precursors in the neutrophil, erythrocyte and eosinophil lineages. Such differences between lineages may reflect cell type-dependent differences in levels of expression or conformational nature of the target antigens. (C) 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)303-314
Number of pages12
JournalVeterinary Immunology and Immunopathology
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - 15 Feb 2013


  • Bovine neonatal pancytopenia (BNP)
  • Haematopoietic
  • Alloantibody
  • Colostrum


Dive into the research topics of 'Reproduction of bovine neonatal pancytopenia (BNP) by feeding pooled colostrum reveals variable alloantibody damage to different haematopoietic lineages'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this