Investigating the Health and Economic Benefits of Colostrum and Milk from Dairy Cattle Selected for Enhanced Immunity

Diseases of dairy cattle adversely affect meat and milk quality. Our research demonstrates that high immune response (HIR™) cattle have many health advantages, including better quality colostrum/milk. HIR™ technology is marketed by our partner Semex Inc as Immunity+. While many advantages of HIR™ exist, there is more to learn, particularly as it relates to colostrum. Colostrum is the first milk from the mother that protects the new born. HIR™ cows have enhanced specific antibody and pass this protection to their calves via colostrum. Apart from specific antibody there is also “natural” antibody that circulates without previous exposure to pathogens. Natural antibody has been under-investigated even though it is known to provide first-line defense. Various other natural defense molecules, known as defensins, also have not been investigated in the context of high immune responders. Examining natural antibody, vaccine response and defensins in colostrum/milk from high versus average immune responders will be the focus here.

Faculty Supervisor:

Bonnie Mallard


Lauraine Wagter-Lesperance


Semex Alliance






University of Guelph



Current openings

Find the perfect opportunity to put your academic skills and knowledge into practice!

Find Projects