Markers of Endogenous Intoxication in Late-Pregnancy Cows as Predictors of Pneumonia in Newborn Calves


Endogenous intoxication indices in late-pregnancy cows have been analyzed. The possibility for the use of these indices as predictors of bronchopulmonary pathology in the newborn calves has been identified. Overall, 29 Red-and-White Holstein cows checked on day 239–262 of gestation and 29 newborn calves were examined. Bronchitis occurred in all the calves within the first month of their life. In addition, it developed into pneumonia in seven newborn calves. The markers of endogenous intoxication in cows were analyzed. The total and effective albumin concentrations, the concentration of medium molecular weight peptides (MMWP) in the blood serum, the leucocyte intoxication index (LII) by the Kalf-Kalif formula, the toxicity index (TI), and the intoxication coefficient (IC) were determined. The MMWP level in the cows with calves unaffected by pneumonia comprised 0.408 ± 0.152 c.u. The cows with calves affected by pneumonia showed a higher MMWP content (0.615 ± 0.197 c.u., p < 0.05). A correlation between the MMWP concentration and the predicted probability of pneumonia was revealed (rs = 0.536, p < 0.005). The leucocyte intoxication index by the Kalf-Kalif formula and the toxicity index in the cows of both groups significantly varied. However, no reliable difference between the groups was revealed. The intoxication coefficient in the cows with calves affected by pneumonia was 26.5 ± 8.4, while a statistically reliable (p < 0.05) high IC value was recorded in cows that had offspring affected by uncomplicated bronchitis (IC = 17.2 ± 6.8). A correlation between the IC value in cows and the incidence of pneumonia in their offspring was revealed (rs = 0.568, p < 0.001). The MMWP concentration in blood serum of the pregnant cows may serve as a predictor of pneumonia in the newborn calves (AUC = 0.782, susceptibility – 85.71%, specificity – 81.82%, and critical value > 0.547 in conventional units). The diagnostic value of the IC predictor is rated as very good (AUC = 0.812, susceptibility – 71.43%, specificity – 86.36%, and critical value > 22.5 in conventional units). The concentration of medium molecular weight peptides and the intoxication concentration in cows in the period of gestation can allow us to make predictions for bronchopulmonary pathology development with high predictive accuracy in their offspring.

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Correspondence to E. A. Kalaeva.

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Statement of the welfare of animals. All applicable international, national, and/or institutional guidelines for the care and use of animals were followed. The article does not concern any researches using animals as objects.

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Translated by O. Zhiryakova

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Kalaeva, E.A., Chernitskiy, A.E., Kalaev, V.N. et al. Markers of Endogenous Intoxication in Late-Pregnancy Cows as Predictors of Pneumonia in Newborn Calves. Russ. Agricult. Sci. 45, 580–584 (2019).

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  • bronchitis
  • gestosis
  • cows
  • pneumonia
  • calves
  • endogenous intoxication