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Effects of Induced Clinical Mastitis During Preovulation on Endocrine and Follicular Function

Journal of Dairy Science
American Dairy Science Association
DOI: 10.3168/jds.s0022-0302(05)72920-9
  • Physiology And Management
  • Biology
  • Medicine


Abstract The objective of the study was to determine if experimentally induced clinical mastitis before ovulation resulted in alterations of endocrine function, follicular growth, or ovulation. On d 8 (estrus = d 0), cows were challenged (TRT; n = 19) with Streptococcus uberis or were not challenged (control; n = 14). Forty-eight hours after induction of luteal regression on d 12, blood samples were collected to determine estradiol-17β, LH pulse frequency, and occurrence of the LH surge. Ovaries were scanned to monitor follicular growth and ovulation. Cows with clinical mastitis (n = 12) had elevated rectal temperatures, somatic cell counts, and mammary scores. Estrus and ovulation occurred in 4 of 12 clinically infected cows and in all control cows. Cows that were challenged but did not develop clinical mastitis (n = 5) displayed estrus and ovulated. Due to differences in expression of estrus, cows were further subdivided for analyses into 4 groups: control, TRT-EST (infected cows that displayed estrus; n = 4), TRT-NOEST (infected cows that did not display estrus; n = 8), and NOMAS (cows that were inoculated but did not develop mastitis; n = 4). Ovulation rate was 100% for CON, NOMAS, and TRT-EST compared with 0% for TRT-NOEST cows. Size of the ovulatory follicle (“presumed” ovulatory follicle in TRT-NOEST cows) was similar for all groups. Frequency of LH pulses was decreased in TRT-NOEST compared with CON, TRT-EST, and NO-MAS. Estradiol-17β increased over time in CON, NO-MAS, and TRT-EST cows, but did not increase in TRT-NOEST cows. Cows with clinical mastitis may exhibit estrus and ovulate normally or have disruptions in normal physiology including decreased LH pulsatility, absence of an LH surge and estrous behavior, suppressed estradiol-17β, and failure to ovulate.

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