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Short communication: Assessment of biomarkers of inflammation in the vaginal discharge of postpartum dairy cows diagnosed with clinical metritis
- Barragan, A.A., Lakritz, J., Carman, M.K., Bas, S., Hovingh, E., Schuenemann, G.M.
- Journal of dairy science 2019 v.102 no.8 pp. 7469-7475
- biomarkers, blood serum, dairy cows, endometritis, endometrium, farms, financial economics, haptoglobins, inflammation, metalloproteinases, observational studies, smell, Pennsylvania
- Clinical metritis, characterized by the presence of an enlarged uterus and abnormal red-brownish foul-smelling vaginal discharge (VD), is a prevalent condition that causes important economic losses to dairy operations. The accurate diagnosis and treatment of this disease can help decrease its negative effects on the well-being and performance of dairy cows. The objectives of this study were to assess (1) the concentration of haptoglobin (Hp) and neutrophil-derived haptoglobin–matrix metalloproteinase 9 (Hp-MMP 9) in the VD of postpartum cows; and (2) the correlation between Hp and Hp-MMP 9 concentrations in serum and VD. Fifty-three dairy cows from 4 farms in central Pennsylvania were enrolled in this observational study.. Postpartum cows (7 ± 3 DIM) were screened using a Metricheck device to assess VD score (VDS): 1, clear fluid (n = 4); 2, < 50% white purulent fluid (n = 14); 3, > 50% white purulent fluid (n = 8); 4, red-brownish watery fluid without fetid smell (n = 22); and 5, fetid red-brownish watery fluid (n = 5). Blood and VD samples were collected for assessment of Hp and Hp-MMP 9 concentrations. Cows with a VDS of 4 or 5 (VDS4/5) had higher serum Hp concentrations than cows with a VDS of 1, 2, or 3 (VDS1/3; 93 ± 187 µg/mL vs. 59 ± 106 µg/mL, respectively). Similarly, cows with VDS4/5 had higher VD Hp concentrations than cows with VDS1/3 (73 ± 56 µg/mL vs. 17 ± 16 µg/mL, respectively). We found a significant correlation (0.37) between Hp levels in serum and in VD. We found no difference in serum Hp-MMP 9 between VDS4/5 and VDS1/3 cows. The VD concentrations of Hp-MMP 9 were higher in VDS4/5 cows than in VDS1/3 cows (7,629 ± 9,847 ng/mL vs. 1,567 ± 2,165 ng/mL, respectively). The correlation between Hp-MMP 9 in serum and VD was 0.22; nevertheless, it was not statistically significant. Interestingly, Hp and Hp-MMP 9 concentrations were higher in VD samples than in serum, regardless of VDS. Results from this study suggest that inflammatory biomarkers may be increased in cows with a VDS of 4 or 5. Further research should be aimed at elucidating the processes involved in inflammatory biomarker production and transportation in the uterus, as well as the effect of these biomarkers on endometrial cells.