The Science of Antibodies

first defense science of anibodies

Antibody technology that revolutionized human health is here for your calves.

Antibodies are Y-shaped proteins that naturally occur in the body during an immune response. When molecules – also called antigens – from viruses and bacteria invade the body, the body produces antibodies to fight them.

Scientists in human health long ago developed Y-shaped antibody medicines in labs that mimic naturally occurring antibodies. These are preformed antibodies, and they can take decades of research to bring to market. Scientists optimized these antibodies to target specific diseases. As a result, a greater number of antibodies can be present in the body to fight targeted diseases without affecting other cells.

Think of the Y shape as two different arms that grab, or bind to, viruses and bacteria. We designed our antibody arms to bind to coronavirus, rotavirus, and E. coli bacteria. When our antibodies grab hold of those pathogens, they coat and neutralize them, preventing the pathogens from entering a cell and harming it.

How calves receive antibodies without vaccination

Dam-level vaccines have to work to develop antibodies for scours pathogens. Those antibodies must transfer to the calf through colostrum. Calf-level vaccines also have to prompt antibody production. In both methods, vaccine-response variability regularly leaves 20 to 30 percent of calves unprotected.

An antibody medicine delivers the antibody protection vaccines intend to confer to calves, but it does so directly, without having to wait for an immune response and without variability. Antibody levels are guaranteed.

How we guarantee antibody levels

The colostrum from which our antibodies are purified comes from cows on a strict commercial scours vaccine program. In order to guarantee high levels of E. coli, coronavirus and rotavirus antibodies, our cows are also exposed to ImmuCell’s proprietary vaccine regimen.

Unlike a commercial operation, if our cows calve early or late, or if they miss a vaccine, we do not use their colostrum. That’s because the cows would not be at peak antibody levels.

Our antibodies are verified veterinary biologics providing immediate, guaranteed levels of specific antibodies proven to protect against both bacterial and viral scours in newborn calves.

The Science of Antibodies

Passive versus active antibodies.

You may hear First Defense referred to as passive antibody protection. A passive antibody acts immediately. Vaccines provide active immunity, which means antibodies must develop in the animal. They can tax the animal’s immune system.

Passive antibodies do the work for the dam or calf. The effect is immediate. The level of antibody protection is guaranteed.

Dr. Donna Gatewood, EDGE Veterinary Vaccines Consulting Group LLC, describes what it means to have USDA approval.

Donna Gatewood

The manufacturer of a USDA licensed product must demonstrate that the product performs the way that the claims on the label say it’s going to perform. This is unlike supplements or feed additives which only describe what the material is without any proof of performance. That’s according to Dr. Donna Gatewood, EDGE Veterinary Vaccines Consulting Group, LLC.

If a product says it’s to prevent a particular disease, the manufacturer is required to complete trials to show that the product will prevent or treat that disease. These trials have strict USDA oversight and need to meet high statistical standards – data cannot be cherry picked.