Skip to main content
Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2016

Secretory immunoglobulin A and immunoglobulin G in horse saliva

Palm, Anna-Karin E.; Wattle, Ove; Lundstrom, Torbjorn; Wattrang, Eva


This study aimed to increase the knowledge on salivary antibodies in the horse since these constitute an important part of the immune defence of the oral cavity. For that purpose assays to detect horse immunoglobulin A (IgA) including secretory IgA (SIgA) were set up and the molecular weights of different components of the horse IgA system were estimated. Moreover, samples from 51 clinically healthy horses were tested for total SIgA and IgG amounts in saliva and relative IgG3/5 (IgG(T)) and IgG4/7 (IgGb) content were tested in serum and saliva.Results showed a mean concentration of 74 mu g SIgA/ml horse saliva and that there was a large inter individual variation in salivary SIgA concentration. For total IgG the mean concentration was approx. 5 times lower than that of SIgA, i.e. 20 mu g IgG/ml saliva and the inter-individual variation was lower than that observed for SIgA. The saliva-serum ratio for IgG isotypes IgG3/5 and IgG4/7 was also assessed in the sampled horses and this analysis showed that the saliva-serum ratio of IgG4/7 was in general approximately 4 times higher than that of IgG3/5.The large inter-individual variation in salivary SIgA levels observed for the normal healthy horses in the present study emphasises the need for a large number of observations when studying this parameter especially in a clinical setting. Moreover, our results also indicated that some of the salivary IgG does not originate from serum but may be produced locally. Thus, these results provide novel insight, and a base for further research, into salivary antibody responses of horses. (C) 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Equine; Secretory IgA; IgG; Saliva; Mucosal immunity

Published in

Veterinary Immunology and Immunopathology
2016, volume: 180, pages: 59-65

Authors' information

Palm, Anna-Karin E.
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Biomedical Science and Veterinary Public Health
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Clinical Sciences
Lundström, Torbjörn
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Clinical Sciences
National Veterinary Institute (SVA)

UKÄ Subject classification


Publication Identifiers


URI (permanent link to this page)