Pilot study into milk haptoglobin as an indicator of udder health in heifers after calving

Simões, P.B.A., Campbell, M., Viora, L. , Gibbons, J., Geraghty, T.E., Eckersall, P.D. and Zadoks, R.N. (2018) Pilot study into milk haptoglobin as an indicator of udder health in heifers after calving. Research in Veterinary Science, 116, pp. 83-87. (doi: 10.1016/j.rvsc.2017.05.024) (PMID:28601196)

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Mastitis, inflammation of the mammary gland, is often caused by intramammary infection with bacterial organisms. It impacts on dairy cattle welfare, production, udder health and longevity in the herd. Current detection methods for mammary inflammation and infection all have limitations, particularly for on-farm diagnosis of non-clinical mastitis after calving. Acute phase proteins have been suggested as alternative early indicators of the disease and can potentially be used as cow-side test with results in real time. In this study, milk haptoglobin concentrations were investigated over the first week postpartum to explore haptoglobin's potential as indicator of udder health in dairy heifers. Haptoglobin concentration was highest on day 3 of lactation, and was positively correlated with somatic cell count, a commonly used marker of inflammation (rs=0.68). Haptoglobin level was also associated with bacteriological culture results, a key indicator of infection status, whereby median haptoglobin concentration on days 3 and 5 was higher in quarters that were infected at calving than quarters that were non infected at calving. Sensitivity and specificity of haptoglobin concentration as indicator of infection were low, both for lenient and strict culture-based definitions of intramammary infection (57 or 60% and 61 or 63%, respectively). Although haptoglobin was a poor biomarker for intramammary infection with coagulase negative staphylococci in heifers during the first week after calving, it may have value as an indicator of major pathogen infections, particularly in large scale dairy herds where pre-partum heifers are managed off-site.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:Financial support from the School of Veterinary Medicine – University of Glasgow is gratefully acknowledged.
Keywords:Biomarker, haptoglobin, heifer, intramammary infection, postpartum, somatic cell count.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Eckersall, Professor David and Zadoks, Professor Ruth and Geraghty, Mr Timothy and Viora, Dr Lorenzo and Simoes, Miss Patricia
Authors: Simões, P.B.A., Campbell, M., Viora, L., Gibbons, J., Geraghty, T.E., Eckersall, P.D., and Zadoks, R.N.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Biodiversity, One Health & Veterinary Medicine
Journal Name:Research in Veterinary Science
ISSN (Online):1532-2661
Published Online:23 May 2017
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd.
First Published:First published in Research in Veterinary Science 116:83-87
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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