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Kovacs L.,MTA SZIE Large Animal Clinical Research Group | Kovacs L.,Szent Istvan University | Kezer F.L.,MTA SZIE Large Animal Clinical Research Group | Kezer F.L.,Szent Istvan University | And 4 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2015

Most experimental studies on animal stress physiology have focused on acute stress, while chronic stress, which is also encountered in intensive dairy cattle farming-e.g. in case of lameness-, has received little attention. We investigated heart rate (HR) and heart rate variability (HRV) as indicators of the autonomic nervous system activity and fecal glucocorticoid concentrations as the indicator of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis activity in lame (with locomotion scores 4 and 5; n = 51) and non-lame (with locomotion scores 1 and 2; n = 52) Holstein-Friesian cows. Data recorded during the periods of undisturbed lying-representing baseline cardiac activity-were involved in the analysis. Besides linear analysis methods of the cardiac inter-beat interval (time-domain geometric, frequency domain and Poincaré analyses) non-linear HRV parameters were also evaluated. With the exception of standard deviation 1 (SD1), all HRV indices were affected by lameness. Heart rate was lower in lame cows than in non-lame ones. Vagal tone parameters were higher in lame cows than in non-lame animals, while indices of the sympathovagal balance reflected on a decreased sympathetic activity in lame cows. All geometric and non-linear HRV measures were lower in lame cows compared to non-lame ones suggesting that chronic stress influenced linear and non-linear characteristics of cardiac function. Lameness had no effect on fecal glucocorticoid concentrations. Our results demonstrate that HRV analysis is a reliable method in the assessment of chronic stress, however, it requires further studies to fully understand the elevated parasympathetic and decreased sympathetic tone in lame animals. © 2015 Kovács et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Source

Karen A.,Szent Istvan University | Karen A.,Kafr El Sheikh University | Sousa N.M.D.,University of Liege | Beckers J.-F.,University of Liege | And 6 more authors.
Animal Reproduction Science | Year: 2015

The present study aimed to compare the accuracy of a commercial PAG-ELISA test (Bovine Preg Test 29) and bovine pregnancy-associated glycoprotein radioimmunoassay (PAG-RIA) for diagnosing pregnancy at Day 28 after insemination in dairy cows.Transrectal ultrasonography (TRUS) was performed in 100 Holstein-Friesian cows at Day 28 after artificial insemination (AI; Day 0) to diagnose pregnancy. After TRUS examination, blood sample was collected from the coccygeal vessels of each cow to measure the concentrations of bPAGs by PAG-RIA test and Bovine Preg Test 29. Milk samples were collected at Days 0, 21 and 28 for measurement of progesterone (P4) by ELISA test. The cows were re-examined by TRUS at Day 42 to confirm the pregnancy diagnoses. The actual gold standard was based on TRUS outcomes at Day 28 that agreed with the outcomes of PAG-RIA test or PAG-ELISA test. If the outcomes of TRUS at Day 28 and PAG-RIA test and PAG-ELISA test did not agree, the gold standard was based on the outcome of TRUS at Day 42.Out of 100 inseminated cows, 41 were confirmed pregnant at Day 28 after AI. Based on the actual gold standard, the sensitivity of TRUS, PAG-ELISA and PAG-RIA tests for diagnosing pregnant cows at Day 28 were 92.7%, 90.2% and 100%, while the specificity of the three tests for diagnosing non-pregnant cows were 91.5%, 98.3% and 94.4%, respectively. The overall accuracy of the three tests were 92%, 95% and 97%, respectively. The degree of agreement (Kappa. ±. S.E.) between PAG-RIA and PAG-ELISA test was 0.90 ±0.04. The degrees of agreement between PAG-RIA and PAG-ELISA and TRUS at Day 28 were 0.80. ±. 0.05 and 0.76. ±. 0.06, respectively.In conclusion, the commercial PAG-ELISA test is a highly accurate method for diagnosing early pregnancy in dairy cows on Day 28 after AI and may be used as an alternative method to the TRUS and the PAG-RIA test. © 2015 Elsevier B.V. Source

Vincze B.,Szent Istvan University | Vincze B.,MTA SZIE Large Animal Clinical Research Group | Gaspardy A.,Szent Istvan University | Kulcsar M.,Szent Istvan University | And 4 more authors.
Theriogenology | Year: 2015

Alpha-fetoprotein has proved to be a good indicator of fetal well-being in human medicine for decades. Although this molecule is present in most of the mammalian species including horses, reference values in healthy and high-risk pregnant mares have not yet been published. The aim of the present study was to determine whether equine alpha-fetoprotein (eqAFP) is a good indicator of complicated pregnancies in Lipizzaner mares. A total of 111 serum samples from 30 mares have been analyzed for eqAFP levels throughout gestation (Days 60-325). After the pregnancy was confirmed, 23 mares had normal pregnancies with viable foals, six had late embryonic loss, and one of the mares aborted in the ninth gestational month. Equine alpha-fetoprotein concentrations significantly differed in the normal group (72.93 ± 49.25 pg/mL; mean ± standard deviation) and in the complicated pregnancy loss group (152 ± 36.48 pg/mL; mean ± standard deviation). The mares' age, gestational age, and the conception rate significantly affected the alpha-fetoprotein concentrations in the normal group. Furthermore, notable individual differences occurred in eqAFP concentrations between mares. Equine alpha-fetoprotein seems to be an important indicator of fetal well-being in horses, but there are still some unanswered questions (levels in foals of different age, ponies, and draft horses) regarding this serum protein. Large-scale studies are needed to assess the specificity, sensitivity, and reliability of this test as a possible future diagnostic tool for fetal well-being in horses. © 2015 Elsevier Inc. Source

Szenci O.,MTA SZIE Large Animal Clinical Research Group | Szenci O.,Szent Istvan University | Sassi G.,Szent Istvan University | Fodor L.,Szent Istvan University | And 6 more authors.
Reproduction in Domestic Animals | Year: 2016

Contents: The aim of the study was to investigate the effect of Bovine Herpesvirus 4 (BoHV-4) and Histophilus (H.) somni on fertility rate of cows in a Hungarian Holstein-Friesian dairy herd with purulent vaginal discharge (PVD). Non-pregnant cows (n = 188) with mature corpus luteum were treated with cloprostenol and 3 days later if they did not show oestrus, were examined by rectal palpation. Animals showing PVD (n = 60/31.9%/) and 14 controls with normal vaginal discharge (Score 0) were randomly selected and further examined by ultrasonography and blood samples were collected for detecting BoHV-4 DNA and transcervical guarded swabs were collected from the uterus for bacteriological examination. Although the majority of the examined animals were infected with BoHV-4 and H. somni including the control animals as well, in group of animals with PVD score 3, fewer animals became pregnant and the duration between the first treatment to pregnancy was significantly extended. Based on these clinical and comparative data, our results confirm that these two microorganisms together may impair important reproductive parameters which may cause large economic losses to dairy farms. © 2016 Blackwell Verlag GmbH. Source

Szelenyi Z.,Szent Istvan University | Szelenyi Z.,MTA SZIE Large Animal Clinical Research Group | Repasi A.,MTA SZIE Large Animal Clinical Research Group | de Sousa N.M.,University of Liege | And 3 more authors.
Theriogenology | Year: 2015

Progesterone (P4) and bovine pregnancy-associated glycoprotein 1 (bPAG-1) concentrations during gestation are dependent on the number of CL and fetuses, respectively. The objective of this present study was to measure and evaluate the usefulness of measuring the P4 and bPAG-1 concentrations in cases of single versus twin pregnancies and one versus two CL at the first 4months of gestation. We hypothesized that both the number of the CL and the number of fetus might have an effect on P4 and pregnancy protein concentrations, and we can set up clinically useful threshold levels to predict twin gestations. Eighty-four Holstein-Friesian dairy cows were enrolled in this prospective observational clinical trial. Blood was collected at time point 1: between Days 29 and 42, time point 2: between Days 57 and 70, time point 3: between Days 85 and 98, and time point 4: between Days 113 and 126 of gestation, and bPAG-1 and P4 concentrations were measured. Binary logistic regression analyzing serum P4 concentrations differed at time point 2 compared with baseline level, but the area under the curve (AUC) had low sensitivity. The bPAG-1 concentrations were statistically different at each time point of gestation. The AUC cutoff values of serum bPAG-1 concentrations were sufficiently sensitive to differentiate between twin gestations from singleton ones. At time points 3 (cutoff value of 3.4ng/mL) and 4 (cutoff value of 56.5ng/mL), statistically significant differences with low sensitivity, high specificity, and a high AUC were found. On the basis of these results, the diagnosis of twin pregnancy using pregnancy protein measurements is clinically insufficient before Day 85 of gestation; however, the ability to confirm the early twin pregnancy diagnosis with bPAG-1 measurements appears to be promising. To achieve high sensitivity, further studies are required. © 2015 Elsevier Inc. Source

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