Prevalence of shedding and antibody to Coxiella burnetii in post-partum dairy cows and its association with reproductive tract diseases and performance : a pilot study
Article [Version of Record]
Is part ofPreventive veterinary medicine ; vol. 186, no. (January 2021).
The bacterium Coxiella burnetii has been associated with reproduction disorders in dairy cattle. A cross-sectional study was conducted in Québec, Canada, to estimate the prevalence of C. burnetii in dairy cows from C. burnetii RT-PCR-positive and/or ELISA-positive herds. As a secondary objective, the associations between C. burnetii-positivity and three reproductive outcomes (purulent vaginal discharge, cytological endometritis, and success at first service) were assessed. A total of 202 post-parturient dairy cows from nine herds were sampled at 35 ± 7 days in milk. Vaginal mucus and composite milk were collected from each cow and screened for the presence of C. burnetii by real-time PCR (RT-PCR) and ELISA, respectively. Purulent vaginal discharge and cytological endometritis were evaluated using a Metricheck device and a modified cytobrush, respectively. The first insemination postpartum was done following an ovulation synchronization protocol around 70 days in milk, and success at first service was recorded. Multilevel logistic regressions adjusted for parity were used to model purulent vaginal discharge, cytological endometritis and success at first service according to C. burnetii cow status. All 202 RT-PCR-assayed vaginal samples were C. burnetii-negative. A positive result for anti-C. burnetii antibodies detection in composite milk was obtained in 25/202 samples and a doubtful result in 4/202 samples. After adjustment for sampling weights, the 202 ELISA-assayed composite milk samples gave an estimated overall prevalence of C. burnetii positive cows of 12.9 % (CI = 6.1–19.6 %) and of doubtful cows of 1.4 % (CI = 0.0–3.3 %). The proportion of ELISA-positive cows was lower in first parity (0%) compared to second (17.1 %) or third parity cows (20.0 %). The associations between ELISA positivity and reproductive outcomes were not statistically significant, perhaps due to the limited sample size, but could be used as pilot estimate for large-scale studies investigating the impact of C. burnetii infection on reproduction disorders in dairy cattle.