Animal Reproduction (AR)
Animal Reproduction (AR)

Indicators of immunosuppression peripartum in dual purpose cows in the tropics affected health, productive and reproductive parameters

Miguel Ángel Lammoglia; Ivan Avalos; Amalia Cabrera; Maria Rebeca Rojas; Nora Garcez; Abigail Tabarez

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The objective of the study was to identify immunosuppression peripartum indicators in dual purpose cows in the tropics and determine their effects on productive and reproductive parameters. The indicators used were: changes in leukocyte and neutrophils population, concentrations of energy metabolites (β-hydroxybutyrate and glucose) and body condition scores (BCS). Blood sampling and BCS (scale 1 – 5) were taken weekly during the peripartum. Uterine health was assessed (3 weeks postpartum) by ultrasonography and using a vaginal score (0-3) described by Sheldon et al. (2006). Cows (n=30) were classified as healthy or clinical endometritis (CE). CE prevalence was as high as 29.6%. Leukocyte and neutrophils populations diminished while in the peripartum and were lower (P<0.05) in cows suffering CE. Healthy cows had higher (P<0.05) daily milk production than those with CE (18.84±0.63 vs 14.76±0.84 kg). CE cows had lower (P<0.05) reproductive performance compared with healthy cows (open days: 244.40 ± 35.00 vs 178.00 ± 23.33 and services by conception 3.33 ± 0.51 vs 1.83 ± 0.34). BCS similarly (P>0.05) decreased following parturition in both groups. Concentrations of energy metabolites during peripartum fluctuated in a similar (P>0.05) manner in healthy and CE cows. In summary, dual purpose cows in tropical conditions, presented peripartum immunosuppression indicators, characterized by a decline in the leukocyte population, mainly neutrophils, as well as decreased glucose concentrations and BCS postpartum. In addition to it, there was a rise in the β-hydroxybutyrate concentrations and cows presenting CE had a negative effect in the productive and reproductive parameters.


neutrophils, β-hydroxybutyrate, glucose, endometritis, tropics


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