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News Article

Blood test helps predict clinical mastitis


Serum metabolites and lipids may assist in predictive diagnostics, prevention strategies, and early treatment intervention against clinical mastitis.

Oregon State University (OSU) researchers have developed a blood test to identify dairy cows that are susceptible to clinical mastitis. The interdisciplinary research team published its findings in the Journal of Dairy Science.

The researchers identified biomarkers in the cows’ blood that could indicate which of them are at increased risk of a specific disease, said study lead author Gerd Bobe, an animal scientist in OSU’s College of Agricultural Sciences and Linus Pauling Institute.

“After giving birth, all cows are highly vulnerable to serious infectious and metabolic diseases,” he said. “Long before they acquire the disease these cows have a metabolic profile that indicates they are at an increased risk of disease.”

The OSU test makes it possible for a dairy farmer to use this test to determine which of their cows are at risk for the infection before it occurs, Bobe said. To prevent the disease, they could feed those cows nutritional supplements that could boost their immune systems.

The study cohort consisted of 161 healthy pregnant Holstein cows from a 1,000-head dairy farm in Oregon’s Willamette Valley. Blood samples were collected weekly during the last three weeks before calving and at calving. After calving, the researchers selected blood samples of eight cows that were diagnosed with clinical mastitis but no other diseases after calving and compared them with nine cows that remained healthy after calving.

The researchers used ultra-performance liquid chromatography high-resolution mass spectrometry, to analyse the blood samples for lipids and other circulating metabolites.

The largest fold differences between cows diagnosed with mastitis postcalving and control cows during the prepartal transition period were observed for 3′-sialyllactose in serum. Seven metabolites (N-methylethanolamine phosphate, choline, phosphorylcholine, free carnitine, trimethyl lysine, tyrosine, and proline) and 3 metabolite groups (carnitines, AA metabolites, and water-soluble phospholipid metabolites) could correctly classify cows for their future clinical mastitis status at both 21 and 14 days before calving. Biochemical analysis using lipid and metabolite-specific commercial diagnostic kits supported the mass spectrometry-based omics results and additionally showed elevated inflammatory markers (serum amyloid A and visfatin) in cows diagnosed with mastitis postcalving.

Article: Metabotypes with elevated protein and lipid catabolism and inflammation precede clinical mastitis in prepartal transition dairy cows by F. Zandkarimi, J. Vanegas, X. Fern, C.S. Maier and G. Bobe published in Journal of Dairy Science (2018) vol. 101, no. 6, pp. 5531-5548

Article details

  • Date
  • 26 June 2018
  • Source
  • Oregon State University