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  • Quantifying multiple burdens of dairy cattle production diseases and reproductive inefficiency: current knowledge and proposed metrics

    J Dairy Sci. 2024 Jul 19:S0022-0302(24)01014-2. doi: 10.3168/jds.2023-24538. Online ahead of print.

    ABSTRACT

    The economic burden of diseases and reproductive inefficiency in dairy cattle is evident and has been quantified. Dairy diseases and reproductive inefficiency are however associated with other issues as well, including animal welfare, environmental pressure, and public health risks. Quantifying these other issues is becoming important to help farmers making decisions. Quantification of the non-economic burdens of diseases and reproductive inefficiency is rare and lacks an overview of approaches and metrics. The first aim of this paper is to provide trends for associating diseases and reproductive inefficiency with economic and non-economic burdens of disease. The second aim is to provide a review of approaches and metrics used to quantify the non-economic burdens of disease and reproductive inefficiency. For the economic burden of diseases and reproductive performance, only an overview of the approaches used to quantify the burden is provided. The final aim is to propose approaches and metrics for future quantification of non-economic burdens caused by individual diseases. A literature search was conducted in Web of Science to identify scientific articles on mastitis, lameness, metabolic disorders and reproductive inefficiency in dairy cows. The search was restricted to articles published between 1 January 2010 and 31 December 2022 and resulted in 7,565 articles. The total number of articles that mentioned the economic, animal welfare, public health, and environmental burden was 1,253, 428, 291, and 77, respectively. An increase in the percentage of articles mentioning the economic, animal welfare, and public health burden is observed between 2010 and 2022. Despite the 2,049 articles that mentioned one of the burdens, the results showed that approximately 10% of the articles quantified one or more of these burdens. The economic burden of diseases and reproductive inefficiency has been quantified in 154 articles and very few articles quantified the non-economic burdens (9 articles for environment, 29 articles for public health and 2 articles for animal welfare). Eleven articles were identified that quantified multiple burdens, and in all these studies the economic burden was combined with a non-economic burden through a modeling approach (mainly simulation). We propose to link the non-economic burdens to biological simulation models, and thus develop bio-burden simulation models. Well-established approaches and metrics can be used to quantify economic, environmental, and public health burdens. For the economic impact, costs per cow per year can be assessed. A life cycle assessment can be performed for environmental impact and the public health impact can be assessed by a defined daily dose for antimicrobial use and disability-adjusted life years for zoonotic diseases. Regarding animal welfare, approaches and metrics to quantify the welfare impact of a diseased animal are not well established. For animal welfare, we propose a welfare-adjusted life years approach. The mentioned approaches and metrics are a proposal, and it is up to the scientific community to use them or, based on empirics and research experience, propose changes so that we will end up with robust approaches and metrics that enable us to compare research results and provide more evidence for animal health decision makers.

    PMID:39033919 | DOI:10.3168/jds.2023-24538

  • Systematic map of recent evidence on reproductive performance of cattle in Africa

    Trop Anim Health Prod. 2024 Jul 22;56(7):218. doi: 10.1007/s11250-024-04074-z.

    ABSTRACT

    Good cattle reproductive performance is essential for livestock productivity. Farmers are highly dependent on the success of productive outputs to support their livelihoods. In low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), however, optimal reproduction of cows and bulls is comparatively less well defined, with information on key reproductive parameters and reproductive management often not available. The aim of this study was to collate and synthesise the recent published evidence on cattle reproductive performance in selected sub-Saharan countries.Systematic mapping methodology was used, with searches conducted for both cow and bull reproductive performance in Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda, for the period 2012-2022, in English language. Search returns were screened for relevance at title and abstract, and full-text levels, based on the research question criteria.A substantial number of studies were identified for cows (n = 133), but only very few for bulls (n = 11). A large proportion of reported studies have been conducted in Ethiopia, with relatively few from the other countries, and most studies published between 2014 and 2016, and in 2021. Certain reproductive parameters received more attention than others; calving interval was reported in 86 studies, while culling due to infertility was reported in eight studies.The study highlights where research is being conducted in this area, and importantly where there is a gap, in particular on bull reproductive performance. While there were a range of values reported for cow reproductive parameters, the values were reasonable, indicating that it is possible to have good reproductive performance in LMICs. The synthesis of studies in the map should help to inform farmers and their advisors, at farm and national levels.

    PMID:39034360 | DOI:10.1007/s11250-024-04074-z

  • The History of Interferon-Stimulated Genes (ISGs) in Pregnant Cattle, Sheep, and Pigs

    Reproduction. 2024 Jul 1:REP-24-0130. doi: 10.1530/REP-24-0130. Online ahead of print.

    ABSTRACT

    Expression of the classical interferon (IFN) stimulated genes (ISGs) increases in the endometrial stroma and glandular epithelium (GE) through activation of signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT) signaling in response to the secretion of IFN tau (IFNT) and IFN gamma (IFNG) by the conceptuses of ruminants, including cattle and sheep, and pigs respectively. The first of the classical ISGs to be characterized was ISG15 in cattle. Classical ISGs are not expressed by the endometrial luminal epithelium (LE) due to the expression of interferon regulatory factor 2 (IRF2) in the LE that prevents expression of ISGs in the LE. Classical ISG expression in the endometrium serves as a reliable indicator of conceptus health and elongation in cattle. There are also nonclassical ISGs that are upregulated in endometrial LE in response to progesterone (P4) that and are further stimulated by IFNT in sheep, the intracellular signaling pathway responsible for IFN effects on expression is unknown. ISGs are also upregulated in extrauterine tissues including CL and peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs). Expression of ISGs by the PBMCs of cattle serve as an early prognosticator of pregnancy. The physiological roles of ISGs remain obscure, but evidence suggests that they are at least in part involved in modifying the immune system to support endometrial remodeling necessary for successful implantation of the conceptus. Our understanding of these ISGs is primarily the result of work from the laboratories of Drs. Fuller Bazer, Thomas (Tod) Hansen, Gregory Johnson, Hakhyun Ka, Patrick Lonergan, Troy Ott, and Thomas Spencer.

    PMID:39028589 | DOI:10.1530/REP-24-0130

  • A scoping review on the epidemiology and public significance of Brucella abortus in Chinese dairy cattle and humans

    One Health. 2024 Jan 26;18:100683. doi: 10.1016/j.onehlt.2024.100683. eCollection 2024 Jun.

    ABSTRACT

    Brucellosis, caused by Brucella spp., is a re-emerging One Health disease with increased prevalence and incidence in Chinese dairy cattle and humans, severely affecting animal productivity and public health. In dairy cattle, B. abortus is the primary causative agent although infections with other Brucella species occur occasionally. However, the epidemiological and comparative importance of B. abortus in dairy cattle and humans remains inadequately understood throughout China due to the heterogeneity in locations, quality, and study methods. This scoping review aims to describe the changing status of B. abortus infection in dairy cattle and humans, investigate the circulating Brucella species and biovars, and identify factors driving the disease transmission by retrieving publicly accessible literature from four databases. After passing the prespecified inclusion criteria, 60 original articles were included in the final synthesis. Although the reported animal-level and farm-level prevalence of brucellosis in dairy cattle was lower compared to other endemic countries (e.g. Iran and India), it has been reported to increase over the last decade. The incidence of brucellosis in humans displayed seasonal increases. The Rose Bengal Test and Serum Agglutination Test, interpreted in series, were the most used serological test to diagnose Brucella spp. in dairy cattle and humans. B. abortus biovar 3 was the predominant species (81.9%) and biovar (70.3%) in dairy cattle, and B. melitensis biovar 3 was identified as the most commonly detected strain in human brucellosis cases. These strains were mainly clustered in Inner Mongolia and Shannxi Province (75.7%), limiting the generalizability of the results to other provinces. Live cattle movement or trade was identified as the key factor driving brucellosis transmission, but its transmission pattern remains unknown within the Chinese dairy sector. These knowledge gaps require a more effective One Health approach to be bridged. A coordinated and evidence-based research program is essential to inform regional or national control strategies that are both feasible and economical in the Chinese context.

    PMID:39010971 | PMC:PMC11247298 | DOI:10.1016/j.onehlt.2024.100683

  • The DRB3 gene of the bovine major histocompatibility complex: discovery, diversity and distribution of alleles in commercial breeds of cattle and applications for development of vaccines

    J Dairy Sci. 2024 Jul 12:S0022-0302(24)00989-5. doi: 10.3168/jds.2023-24628. Online ahead of print.

    ABSTRACT

    The bovine Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC), also known as the Bovine Leucocyte Antigen (BoLA) complex, is the genomic region that encodes the most important molecules for antigen presentation to initiate immune responses. The first evidence of MHC in bovines pointed to a locus containing 2 antigens, one detected by cytotoxic antiserum (MHC class I) and another studied by mixed lymphocyte culture tests (MHC class II). The most studied gene in the BoLA region is the highly polymorphic BoLA-DRB3, which encodes a β chain with a peptide groove domain involved in antigen presentation for T cells that will develop and co-stimulate cellular and humoral effector responses. BoLA-DRB3 alleles have been associated with outcomes in infectious diseases such as mastitis, trypanosomiasis, and tick loads, and with production traits. To catalog these alleles, 2 nomenclature methods were proposed, and the current use of both systems makes it difficult to list, comprehend and apply these data effectively. In this review we have organized the knowledge available in all of the reports on the frequencies of BoLA-DRB3 alleles. It covers information from studies made in at least 26 countries on more than 30 breeds; studies are lacking in countries that are important producers of cattle livestock. We highlight practical applications of BoLA studies for identification of markers associated with resistance to infectious and parasitic diseases, increased production traits and T cell epitope mapping, in addition to genetic diversity and conservation studies of commercial and creole and locally adapted breeds. Finally, we provide support for the need of studies to discover new BoLA alleles and uncover unknown roles of this locus in production traits.

    PMID:39004123 | DOI:10.3168/jds.2023-24628

  • European Dairy Cattle Evaluations and International Use of Genomic Data

    Vet Clin North Am Food Anim Pract. 2024 Jul 11:S0749-0720(24)00031-8. doi: 10.1016/j.cvfa.2024.05.007. Online ahead of print.

    ABSTRACT

    The European and global dairy breeding industry has benefited enormously from collaboration and sharing of data. The new era of genomics has disrupted the information flow due to the requirement to protect commercial investments. New trait phenotypes, evaluation models, and breeding goals continue to evolve and will impact the way national and proprietary data are shared and presented to the dairy industry. The global nature of cattle breeding will, however, continue to require some form of collaboration, even under the new ways of working.

    PMID:38997844 | DOI:10.1016/j.cvfa.2024.05.007

  • Base Characteristics, Preservation Methods, and Assessment of the Genetic Diversity of Autochthonous Breeds of Cattle, Sheep and Pigs in Serbia: A Review

    Animals (Basel). 2024 Jun 27;14(13):1894. doi: 10.3390/ani14131894.

    ABSTRACT

    Preserving local autochthonous domestic animal populations and the products derived from them is a crucial aspect of managing human utilization of the biosphere. This management approach aims to ensure sustainable benefits for both present and future generations. The diversity of autochthonous domestic animal populations plays a vital role in the functionality and sustainability of the food production system. It encompasses both productive and non-productive aspects, contributing significantly to the overall health, nutrition, and food security of the landscape by providing a wide range of animal-derived food resources. Based on the data contained in the Draft Program of Rural Development, a significant presence of more than 44 autochthonous and local breeds of domestic animals has been noted in Serbia. In order to enable the sustainable preservation of local domestic animals, the competent Ministry of Agriculture of the Republic of Serbia has, through a number of projects, implemented models for the preservation of local breeds on farms (in situ), as well as provided technical assistance to small farms that keep animal collections. It also helps the local population to procure animals, conducts product quality research, and provides opportunities to integrate conservation programs through tourism. Given that molecular characterization is a key factor for the preservation of autochthonous breeds, in the Republic of Serbia, DNA markers are used for identification and to investigate the belonging to a specific breeds or strain. All the mentioned activities led to an immediate increase in the number of animals, which is especially true for the autochthonous breeds of cattle (Busha), sheep (Sjenicka, Svrljiska, and Vlach-vitohorn) and pigs (Mangalitsa, Moravka, and Resavka) that are discussed in this paper. In addition to the significant measures undertaken to preserve animal genetic resources (AnGR), it is necessary to continue to work primarily on ex situ conservation in order to prevent the loss of their gene pools. However, regardless of the evident effort that has been made to preserve autochthonous genetic resources in Serbia, we believe that there is still a lot of room for further improvement. This primarily refers to advanced technologies that have not been applied so far, mostly related to the identification of genomic regions associated with economic traits, resistance to diseases, and adaptability to emerging climate changes. In this way, the production capacity and functional characteristics of autochthonous species and breeds of domestic animals in Serbia will be improved.

    PMID:38998006 | PMC:PMC11240667 | DOI:10.3390/ani14131894

  • A Review: The Effect of Bovine Colostrum on Immunity in People of All Ages

    Nutrients. 2024 Jun 25;16(13):2007. doi: 10.3390/nu16132007.

    ABSTRACT

    Bovine colostrum provides newborn calves with strong passive immunity, which will further affect the immunity of their offspring. Compared with other commercial dairy products, bovine colostrum emphasizes the limit of aflatoxin M1, pathogenic bacteria, microorganisms, antibiotics, stimulants, and other items, so it is safe to use. There are many reports that the use of bovine colostrum as a breast milk fortifier for preterm infants provides necessary immune support for premature infants, but the selection of bovine colostrum products chosen must be free of Bacillus cereus because they are very dangerous for premature infants. This also emphasizes that for the bovine colostrum that is used in preterm infants, more clinical research support is needed. At the same time, it should also be emphasized that the composition of BC is different from that of human colostrum, in particular, the main protein of BC is casein, while the main protein in breast milk is whey protein, especially α-lactalbumin, which together with ovalbumin is still the reference protein with the best biological value, especially for muscles. Therefore, bovine colostrum is currently not a complete substitute for breast milk. In recent years, in addition to reports of bovine colostrum use in preterm infants, studies have also found that bovine colostrum has immunomodulatory and promoting effects in adolescents, adults, and the elderly. This suggests that bovine colostrum has the potential to provide appropriate immune support for people of all ages. Therefore, this study aimed to evaluate the quality of nutritional characteristics of bovine colostrum on three dimensions. The effects of bovine colostrum on people of all ages is a narrative review of the effects of bovine colostrum on immunity in people of all ages. This review identified several classes of immunoactive substances in bovine colostrum, including immunoglobulins, cytokines, and enzymes, and compared the nutritional composition of bovine colostrum with mature milk, colostrum and mature milk in full-term breast milk, and colostrum and mature milk in preterm breast milk, to demonstrate that bovine colostrum provides a rich range of immunoactive components. In addition, the influencing factors affecting the quality of bovine colostrum (immunoglobulin) were reviewed, and it was found that individual differences, environmental factors, and processing methods had a great impact on the quality of BC. More importantly, the immunomodulatory effects of bovine colostrum in people of all ages were reviewed in detail (with an emphasis on preterm infants and immunocompromised children in neonates) as evidence to support the immunity effects of colostrum in people of all ages. This review hopes to use the above evidence to make people understand the health role of bovine colostrum as having a human immunomodulatory effect, and at the same time, when seeing the potential value of bovine colostrum in the future, the limitations of its application should also be deeply re-explored, such as lactose intolerance, allergies, etc., to provide effective solutions for the wide application of bovine colostrum.

    PMID:38999755 | PMC:PMC11242949 | DOI:10.3390/nu16132007

  • Beef Cattle Genome Project: Advances in Genome Sequencing, Assembly, and Functional Genes Discovery

    Int J Mol Sci. 2024 Jun 28;25(13):7147. doi: 10.3390/ijms25137147.

    ABSTRACT

    Beef is a major global source of protein, playing an essential role in the human diet. The worldwide production and consumption of beef continue to rise, reflecting a significant trend. However, despite the critical importance of beef cattle resources in agriculture, the diversity of cattle breeds faces severe challenges, with many breeds at risk of extinction. The initiation of the Beef Cattle Genome Project is crucial. By constructing a high-precision functional annotation map of their genome, it becomes possible to analyze the genetic mechanisms underlying important traits in beef cattle, laying a solid foundation for breeding more efficient and productive cattle breeds. This review details advances in genome sequencing and assembly technologies, iterative upgrades of the beef cattle reference genome, and its application in pan-genome research. Additionally, it summarizes relevant studies on the discovery of functional genes associated with key traits in beef cattle, such as growth, meat quality, reproduction, polled traits, disease resistance, and environmental adaptability. Finally, the review explores the potential of telomere-to-telomere (T2T) genome assembly, structural variations (SVs), and multi-omics techniques in future beef cattle genetic breeding. These advancements collectively offer promising avenues for enhancing beef cattle breeding and improving genetic traits.

    PMID:39000250 | PMC:PMC11240973 | DOI:10.3390/ijms25137147

  • Isolated Calf Muscle Venous Thrombosis: A Review of Anticoagulation Strategies

    Med Sci Monit. 2024 Jul 10;30:e943955. doi: 10.12659/MSM.943955.

    ABSTRACT

    Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) of the lower extremities is divided into 2 categories according to the extent of thrombosis involvement. Thrombosis involving the popliteal vein, femoral vein, and iliac vein is classified as proximal DVT, while thrombosis involving the anterior tibial vein, posterior tibial vein, peroneal vein, and calf muscles vein is regarded as distal DVT. There are updated guidelines for the anticoagulant treatment for proximal DVT, but the best anticoagulant treatment for distal DVT is still controversial, especially for isolated calf muscular vein thrombosis (CMVT). The risk of isolated CMVT extending to the proximal deep veins and developing into pulmonary embolism is lower than with distal DVT. Some scholars believe that isolated CMVT has the risk of evolving into proximal deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism, and active early anticoagulation therapy can reduce the risk and benefit patients. In addition, based on the characteristics of CMVT and the bleeding risk of anticoagulation therapy, some studies have recommended use of non-anticoagulation methods such as compression therapy. There is still a lack of multicenter, big-data, randomized, controlled trials on the benefits or risks of anticoagulation therapy. Among scholars who support anticoagulation therapy, there is still a lack of consensus on the optimal duration. This article reviews the current evidence on anticoagulant therapy for patients with isolated CMVT and how long the anticoagulation course should be if anticoagulation is required. Our research will provide a theoretical basis for subsequent research. More prospective studies with larger sample sizes are needed to provide more clinical evidence.

    PMID:38985697 | DOI:10.12659/MSM.943955