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Beit Jann, Israel

Furman O.,The Hebrew University | Leitner G.,The Veterinary Institute | Roth Z.,The Hebrew University | Lavon Y.,Cattle Breeders Association | And 2 more authors.
Theriogenology | Year: 2014

This study establishes an experimental model for subclinical mastitis induced by Gram-positive (G+) exosecretions of Staphylococcus aureus origin or Gram-negative (G-) endotoxin of Escherichia coli origin to examine its effects on follicular growth and steroid concentrations in Holstein dairy cows. Cows were synchronized with the Ovsynch protocol followed by a series of follicular cycles that included GnRH and PGF2α doses administered every 8days. Cows received small intramammary doses of either G+ (10μg, n=10) or G- (0.5μg, n=6) toxin, or saline (n=6; uninfected control) every 48hours for 20days. Follicular fluids were aspirated from preovulatory follicles before (aspiration one: control), at the end of (aspiration two: immediate effect), and 16days after the end of (aspiration three: carryover effect) toxin exposure. During the 3weeks of subclinical mastitis induced by G+ or G-, no local inflammatory signs were detected in the mammary gland and no systemic symptoms were noted: body temperatures of the treated cows did not differ from controls; plasma cortisol and haptoglobin concentrations were not elevated and did not differ among groups. Somatic cell count was higher in the treated groups than in controls, and higher in the G- versus G+ group. For analysis of reproductive responses, cows were further classified as nonaffected or affected based on an more than 20% decline in follicular androstenedione concentration in aspiration two or three relative to the first, control aspiration. Most G- (5/6) and 40% of G+ (4/10) cows were defined as affected by induced mastitis. An immediate decrease in the number of medium-size follicles was recorded on Day 4 of the induced cycle, toward the end of the 20-day mastitis induction, in the affected G+ compared with uninfected control group (1.0±0.5 vs. 3.0±0.4 follicles; P<0.05); the affected G- and nonaffected G+ subgroups exhibited a similar numerical decline in the number of follicles. A carryover (but not immediate) decrease to 51% and 62% in follicular estradiol concentrations in G- affected group and G+ affected group was detected relative to controls (P<0.05). The nonaffected G+ subgroup did not differ from its control counterparts. Based on the current experimental model, subclinical IMI induced by G+ or G- toxin disrupts follicular functions, and it seems that the ovarian pool of early antral follicles is susceptible to subclinical mastitis. © 2014 Elsevier Inc.

Lavon Y.,The Hebrew University | Leitner G.,The Veterinary Institute | Voet H.,University of Management and Economics | Wolfenson D.,The Hebrew University
Journal of Dairy Science | Year: 2010

The effects of naturally occurring subclinical chronic or clinical short-term mastitis on time of ovulation, plasma steroid and gonadotropin concentrations, and follicular and luteal dynamics were examined in 73 lactating Holstein cows. Cows were sorted by milk somatic cell count and bacteriological examination into an uninfected group (n=22), a clinical mastitis group (n=9; events occurring 20±7 d before the study), and a subclinical chronic mastitis group (n=42). In addition, uninfected and mastitic cows were further sorted by their estrus to ovulation (E-O) interval. About 30% of mastitic cows (mainly subclinical) manifested an extended E-O interval of 56±9.2. h compared with 28±0.8. h in uninfected cows and 29±0.5. h in the other 70% of mastitic cows. In mastitic cows with extended E-O interval, the concentration of plasma estradiol at onset of estrus was lower than that of uninfected cows or mastitic cows that exhibited normal E-O intervals (3.1±0.4, 5.8±0.5, and 5.5±0.5 pg/mL, respectively). The disruptive effect of mastitis on follicular estradiol probably does not involve alterations in gonadotropin secretion because any depressive effects of mastitis on pulsatile LH concentrations were not detected. Cortisol concentrations did not differ among groups. The preovulatory LH surge in mastitic cows with delayed ovulation varied among individuals, being lower, delayed, or with no surge noted compared with the normal LH surge exhibited by uninfected cows or mastitic cows with normal E-O interval (6.8±0.7 ng/mL). The diameter of the second-wave dominant follicle was larger and the number of medium follicles was smaller in uninfected and subclinical cows with normal intervals compared with subclinical cows with extended intervals (13.4±0.5 vs. 10.9±0.9. mm, and 3.8±0.2 vs. 6.7±0.14 follicles, respectively). Mid-luteal progesterone concentrations were similar in uninfected and mastitic cows. These results indicate for the first time that around 30% of cows with subclinical chronic mastitis exhibit delayed ovulation that is associated with low plasma concentrations of estradiol and a low or delayed preovulatory LH surge. © 2010 American Dairy Science Association.

Lavon Y.,The Hebrew University | Leitner G.,The Veterinary Institute | Moallem U.,Israel Agricultural Research Organization | Klipper E.,The Hebrew University | And 5 more authors.
Theriogenology | Year: 2011

This study compared immediate and carryover effects of mastitis induced by Gram-negative endotoxin (E. coli LPS) and Gram-positive exosecretions (Staph. aureus ex.) on preovulatory follicle function. Synchronized, uninfected cyclic lactating Holstein cows were treated with PGF 2α on day 6 of the cycle and 36 h later, a dose of either E. coli LPS (n = 8), S. aureus ex. (n = 10), or saline (n = 9) was administered into the mammary gland. Follicular fluids and granulosa cells were aspirated 6 h later from the preovulatory follicles and cows were treated with GnRH. This (cycle 1; immediate effect) was repeated three times (excluding the mammary injections) to induce three 7 d cycles (cycles 2, 3, and 4; carryover effect). E. coli LPS increased body temperature, plasma cortisol concentration, and somatic cell count (SCC), whereas S. aureus ex. induced a minor, subclinical elevation of SCC and slight rise (NS) in body temperature and cortisol concentration. Follicular estradiol, androstenedione, and progesterone concentrations in the E. coli LPS group decreased (P < 0.05) in cycle 1 to about 40%, 13%, and 35%, respectively, of control levels, whereas in the S. aureus ex. group, only estradiol decreased (P < 0.05), to 56% of control concentrations. In cycles 3 and 4, follicular steroids in the E. coli LPS group returned to control concentrations, whereas in the S. aureus ex. group, follicular concentrations of estradiol and androstenedione were lower (P < 0.10) than in controls. In the control group, the concentrations of all follicular and circulating steroids remained stable (P > 0.05) throughout the study. Follicle size was similar in all groups, but the S. aureus ex. treatment caused a decrease (P < 0.02) in the number of follicles developed in cycles 3 and 4. The mRNA expression of steroidogenic genes and LHCGR in the granulosa cells was not affected (P > 0.05) by either treatment during the study, except for a tendency toward lower (P < 0.1) expression in cycle 1 and lower (P < 0.05) expression in cycle 4 of the latter in the S. aureus ex. group. Strain levels, such as SCC and body temperature, following toxin injection correlated well with the magnitude of the immediate decline in follicular steroids. As is typical for Gram-negative clinical events, E. coli LPS-induced acute mastitis caused immediate, short-term, but not long-term impairment of follicular responses, whereas the Gram-positive S. aureus ex.-induced subclinical mastitis exhibited both immediate and carryover disruptive effects on preovulatory follicle function. © 2011 Elsevier Inc.

Roth Z.,The Hebrew University | Dvir A.,The Hebrew University | Kalo D.,The Hebrew University | Lavon Y.,Cattle Breeders Association | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Dairy Science | Year: 2013

We examined the effects of naturally occurring mastitis on bovine oocyte developmental competence in vitro. Specifically, we investigated the effects of intramammary infection on the ovarian pool of oocytes (i.e., follicle-enclosed oocytes) and their ability to undergo in vitro maturation, fertilization, and further development to the blastocyst stage. Culled Holstein cows (n = 50) from 9 commercial dairy farms in Israel were allotted to 3 groups according to somatic cell count (SCC) records of the last 3 monthly milk tests as well as of quarter samples collected before slaughter: (1) low SCC (n = 7), (2) medium SCC (n = 16), or (3) high SCC (n = 27). Means of SCC values differed among low-, medium-, and high-SCC groups: 148,000, 311,000 and 1,813,000. cell/mL milk, respectively. Milk yield and days in milk did not differ among the 3 groups. Bacterial isolates included coagulase-negative staphylococci, Escherichia coli, Streptococcus dysgalactiae, or no bacteria found. Ovaries were collected at the abattoir and brought to the laboratory. Cumulus oocyte complexes were recovered separately from each cow and subjected individually to in vitro maturation and fertilization, followed by 8. d in culture. The number of aspirated oocytes did not differ among groups, with a range of 17 to 21 oocytes per cow. The proportion of oocytes that cleaved into 2- to 4-cell-stage embryos (86.1 ± 3.4%) did not differ among groups. In contrast, mean percentages of embryos developed to the blastocyst stage on d 7 and 8 after fertilization were less in both medium- and-high SCC groups than in the low-SCC group (5.6 ± 2.3 and 4.1 ± 1.8 vs. 18.1 ± 4.6%, respectively). Additional analysis indicated that cleavage and blastocyst-formation rates did not differ among the bacterial types in the low-, medium-, and high-SCC groups. These are the first results to demonstrate that naturally occurring mastitis disrupts the developmental competence of the ovarian pool of oocytes, (i.e., oocytes at the germinal vesicle stage). The disruption was associated with elevation of SCC rather than bacterial type. The results may provide a partial explanation for the low fertility of cows that have contracted mastitic pathogens before insemination. © 2013 American Dairy Science Association.

Lavon Y.,Hebrew University | Ezra E.,Israel Cattle Breeders Association | Leitner G.,The Veterinary Institute | Wolfenson D.,Hebrew University
Journal of Dairy Science | Year: 2011

The aim was to evaluate the effects of mastitis, determined by the pattern and level of somatic cell count (SCC) around first artificial insemination (AI), on conception rate (CR). Data from 287,192 first AI and milk records covering a 7-yr period were obtained from the Israeli Herd Book. Analyses examined the association of probability of conception with SCC elevation relative to timing of AI, using generalized linear mixed models. A SCC threshold of 150,000 cells/mL of milk was set to distinguish between uninfected cows and cows with mastitis. Accordingly, cows with high SCC before and low SCC after AI were designated cured, those with low SCC before and high SCC after AI were designated newly infected, and cows with high SCC before and after AI were designated chronic (likely subclinical) mastitic cows. Compared with uninfected cows, the cured, newly infected, and chronic subgroups showed reduced CR (39.4±0.1, 36.6±0.2, 32.9±0.3, and 31.5±0.2, respectively). In the chronic, subclinical group, probability of conception was lowered by 14.5% in the mild and moderately elevated SCC subgroups and by 20.5% in cows with high SCC elevation compared with the uninfected group (CR of 29.7 vs. 39.4%, respectively). A single high elevation of SCC (>10 6 cells/mL on only 1 milk test day) lowered the probability of conception by 23.6% when it occurred during the 10 d immediately before AI, but not when it occurred earlier. For 30 d after AI, probability of conception was lowered by about 23%, as reflected in a CR of about 27% compared with the uninfected group. Probability of conception was lowered in cows with uterine and foot health problems (33.9%), in multiparous cows (34.1%), and in cows in the summer (29.1%), but no interactions with mastitis were detected. Results indicate that SCC elevation around AI, typical for subclinical mastitis, was associated with a significant reduction in probability of conception, and that even mild SCC elevation reduced CR. Severe elevation of SCC before AI, typical for clinical intramammary infection, reduced the probability of conception. © 2011 American Dairy Science Association.

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