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Bovine colostrum and milk contain many immunomodulatory components. The low-molecular-weight fraction (<10 kDa) was separated from colostrum and milk by gel filtration chromatography, and its effect on the oxidative burst of bovine polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMNL) was investigated in vitro. The oxidative burst activity induced by Staphylococcus aureus was considerably enhanced when PMNLs were incubated with this low-molecular-weight fraction. However, phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate did not trigger a burst after priming with this fraction. The oxidative burst activity enhanced by this fraction was reduced after heating. These results confirmed that a low-molecular-weight substance(s) of less than 10 kDa, present in bovine milk and colostrum, enhances the oxidative burst activity of PMNL.