Intrauterine therapy with ozone reduces subclinical endometritis and improves reproductive performance in postpartum dairy cows managed in pasture-based systems

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Abstract

New postpartum strategies have been developed in dairy cows to ameliorate uterine health and reproductive performance, especially the first service conception rates. This study aimed to assess the effect of intrauterine therapy with ozone (IUTO) in early postpartum on subclinical endometritis prevalence and reproductive parameters in dairy cows under commercial farm conditions. For this purpose, eighty clinically healthy cows with a body condition score between 3.0 and 3.5, from four dairy farms, were randomly allocated into two groups: ozone therapy group (OG, n = 40), which were subjected to IUTO, and control group (CG, n = 40). Content of uterine polymorphonuclear (PMN) leukocytes and subclinical endometritis (SE) percentage were assessed at 35 days after calving by uterine cytology. A second cytology was performed 72 h after IUTO. Reproductive parameters such as interval calving to first service (IFS), number of services per conception (nSC), interval calving to conception (ICC) and first service conception rate (FSCR) were analysed. The second endometrial cytology demonstrated that IUTO reduced (P < 0.01) both PMN (3.7 ± 1.4 vs. 7.6 ± 1.1%) and SE (5.0 vs. 50.0%) percentages compared with CG. Likewise, after ozone treatment, both nSC (2.1 ± 0.3 vs. 3.1 ± 0.2; P < 0.01) and ICC (126.2 ± 9.7 vs. 149.0 ± 9.0; P = 0.0672) decreased, and FSCR increased (50.0 vs. 16.2%; P < 0.01) compared with CG. In conclusion, intrauterine ozone therapy applied at 35 days after calving reduced subclinical endometritis prevalence and improved reproductive performance in postpartum dairy cows managed in a pasture-based system.

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Acknowledgements

The authors thank the Department of Research and Development of ‘La Colina Cia. Ltda’ for the contribution for the contribution to this research. In addition, the authors thank Dr. Gustavo Antunes, ‘La Estanzuela’ experimental station, National Institute of Agricultural Research, INIA, Uruguay, and Dr. Adolfo Toledano-Díaz, Department of Animal Reproduction, INIA, Spain for the critical reading of this manuscript.

Funding

The research was supported by Dirección de Investigación de la Universidad de Cuenca (DIUC), Ecuador, throughout project DIUC-XIV-2016-022.

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Correspondence to Diego A. Galarza.

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Escandón, B.M., Espinoza, J.S., Perea, F.P. et al. Intrauterine therapy with ozone reduces subclinical endometritis and improves reproductive performance in postpartum dairy cows managed in pasture-based systems. Trop Anim Health Prod 52, 2523–2528 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11250-020-02298-3

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Keywords

  • Ozone therapy
  • PMN
  • Subclinical endometritis
  • Reproductive performance