Author(s): Sannmann I, Burfeind O, Suthar V, Bos A, Bruins M,
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Abstract The objective of this study was to determine test characteristics (i.e., intra- and interobserver variability, intraassay variability, sensitivity, and specificity) of an evaluation of odor from vaginal discharge (VD) of cows in the first 10 d postpartum conducted by olfactory cognition and an electronic device, respectively. In experiment 1, 16 investigators (9 veterinary students and 7 licensed veterinarians) evaluated 5 VD samples each on 10 different days. The kappa test revealed an agreement between investigators (interobserver) of κ=0.43 with a Fleiss adjusted standard error of 0.0061. The overall agreement was the same for students (κ=0.28) and veterinarians (κ=0.28). Mean agreement within observers (intraobserver) was κ=0.52 for all observers, and 0.49 and 0.62 for students and veterinarians, respectively. In experiment 2, the repeatability of an electronic device (DiagNose; C-it, Zutphen, the Netherlands) was tested. Therefore, 5 samples of VD from 5 cows were evaluated 10 times each. The repeatability was 0.97, determined by Cronbach's α. In experiment 3, 20 samples collected from healthy cows and 20 of cows with acute puerperal metritis were evaluated by the 16 investigators and the DiagNose using a dichotomous scale (1=cow with acute puerperal metritis; 0=healthy cow). Sensitivity and specificity of olfactory evaluation was 75.0 and 60.1\% compared with 92.0 and 100\%, respectively, for the electronic nose device. The study revealed a considerable subjectivity of the human nose concerning the classification into healthy and sick animals based on the assessment of vaginal discharge. The repeatability of the electronic nose was higher. In conclusion, the DiagNose system, although imperfect, is a reasonable tool to improve odor assessment of VD. The current system, however, is not suitable as a screening tool in the field. Further research is warranted to adapt such electronic devices to practical on-farm screening tools. Copyright © 2013 American Dairy Science Association. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
This article was published in J Dairy Sci
and referenced in Journal of Fertilization: In Vitro - IVF-Worldwide, Reproductive Medicine, Genetics & Stem Cell Biology