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Type of publication: Journal Article
Type of document: Full Paper

Year: 2020

Authors: Schlegl, R; Drillich, M; Ballas, P; Reinländer, U; Iwersen, M; Baumgartner, W; Ehling-Schulz, M; Wagener, K

Title: Field trial on the post-insemination intrauterine treatment of dairy cows with mild endometritis with cephapirin.

Source: Theriogenology. 2020; 156:20-26

Authors Vetmeduni Vienna:

Ballas Panagiotis
Baumgartner Walter
Drillich Marc
Ehling-Schulz Monika
Iwersen Michael
Schlegl Roland
Wagener Karen

Vetmed Research Units
University Clinic for Ruminants, Clinical Unit of Herd Management in ruminants
University Clinic for Ruminants, Clinical Unit of Ruminant Medicine
Institute of Microbiology, Functional Microbiology Division

Cows in estrus but with signs of clinical endometritis (CE) are often not inseminated or undergo an intrauterine treatment after artificial insemination (AI). Decades ago, the so-called Aström method was described as intrauterine infusion of iodine-potassium solution 2-4 days after AI. Nowadays, it is common to use antibiotics instead of iodine solution and the treatment is performed only a few hours after AI. Although widespread in practice, there is only little information about the efficacy of this treatment. Thus, this study evaluated the effect of a post-breeding intrauterine treatment with cephapirin on insemination success in cows with signs of mild CE. In total, 281 cows subjected to an Ovsynch program with fixed-time AI and examined for vaginal discharge straight after AI by use of the Metricheck device were included. Cows with cloudy discharge or flecks of pus in the mucus were assigned to a treatment or a control group. The treatment group (MET; n = 87) received 6 ± 1 h after AI an intrauterine treatment with 500 mg of cephapirin (Metricure, Intervet Deutschland GmbH). Control cows (CON; n = 91) remained untreated. Animals with clear discharge were assigned to a healthy comparison group (HE; n = 103). Pregnancy diagnosis was performed 39 days after AI. The proportion of pregnant cows after the AI directly preceding the enrollment did not differ significantly (P > 0.05) between HE (35.0%), CON (27.5%) and MET (32.2%). Cephapirin treatment had also no positive effect on other reproductive performance measures, i.e, the percentage of pregnant cows 200 days after enrollment (HE: 64.1%, CON: 73.6%, and MET: 73.6%) or the mean interval from enrollment to conception (HE: 25.4 days, CON: 30.0 days, and MET: 29.7 days). The binary logistic regression showed that the only risk factors with a detrimental effect on fertility were a history of CE 28-34 days postpartum and season. Although cows in MET and HE were 1.74 and 1.37 times more likely to conceive after AI than CON, this effect was not significant. Uterine sampling of a subset of cows with CE (n = 50) revealed 127 bacterial isolates. The most frequently found genera were Staphylococcus (19.7%), Bacillus (12.6%), Streptococcus (10.2%), Corynebacterium (8.7%), and Lysinibacillus (7.9%). The finding that common uterine pathogenic bacteria were rarely detected additionally questions an intrauterine antibiotic treatment of cows with mild CE at AI.Copyright © 2020 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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