Author(s): McDougall S, Macaulay R, Compton C
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Abstract Endometritis reduces reproductive performance in dairy cattle. Diagnosis of endometritis is undertaken using a variety of techniques including vaginoscopy, manual examination, cytology and ultrasonography. The current studies compared a novel test device ("metricheck") that is inserted into the vagina with vaginoscopy and then examined the relationship between the metricheck test score at 35 days before the start of the seasonal breeding programme and subsequent reproductive performance. Cows (n = 191; Study 1) with a history of a peripartum disease were examined by both vaginoscopy and the metricheck device and any material viewed within the vagina (using vaginoscopy) or retrieved (by the metricheck device) was scored on a 0 (no material) to 5 (grossly purulent and with an odour) scale. Within each herd the order of examination was randomized with sequentially presented pairs of cows. All cows (n = 2793; Study 2) from nine herds were examined and scored using the metricheck device 35 days before the start of the seasonal breeding programme. All cows were pregnancy tested to determine date of conception. In Study 1, more cows were defined as infected (i.e. score > 1) following metricheck than vaginoscopic examination (60\% versus 43\%, respectively; P < 0.05) and the level of agreement between the two tests was moderate (kappa = 0.45). The metricheck device had a higher sensitivity, but lower specificity, than vaginoscopy. Endometritis (i.e. score > 1) was detected in 21.2\% of cows examined in Study 2. The prevalence of endometritis varied among herds, declined with time postpartum (P < 0.05) and was higher in cows recorded as having a peripartum disease (P < 0.01). Cows diagnosed with endometritis were at higher risk of not being detected in oestrus before the start of breeding (P < 0.01), took longer to be inseminated after the start of the seasonal breeding programme (P < 0.01), had a lower first service conception rate (P < 0.01), had lower 56-day and final pregnancy rates (P < 0.05) and took longer to conceive than cows without endometritis (P < 0.05). It is concluded that examination with the metricheck device is more sensitive in detecting endometritis than vaginoscopy. Diagnosis of endometritis with the metricheck device was associated with poorer subsequent reproductive performance. (c)2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
This article was published in Anim Reprod Sci
and referenced in Journal of Fertilization: In Vitro - IVF-Worldwide, Reproductive Medicine, Genetics & Stem Cell Biology