Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

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Relationship between inflammatory biomarkers and oxidative stress with uterine health in dairy cows with different dry period lengths
Mayasari, Novi ; Trevisi, Erminio ; Ferrari, Annarita ; Kemp, Bas ; Parmentier, Henk K. ; Knegsel, Ariette T.M. Van - \ 2019
Translational Animal Science 3 (2019)2. - ISSN 2573-2102 - p. 607 - 619.
Cattle - Continuous milking - Inflammation - Oxidative stress - Uterine health

Earlier studies indicated that the inflammatory status of dairy cows in early lactation could not be fully explained by the negative energy balance (NEB) at that moment. The objective of the present study was to determine relationships between inflammatory biomarkers and oxidative stress with uterine health in dairy cows after different dry period lengths. Holstein-Friesian dairy cows were assigned to one of three dry period lengths (0-, 30-, or 60-d) and one of two early lactation rations (gluco-genic or lipogenic ration). Cows were fed either a glucogenic or lipogenic ration from 10-d before the expected calving date. Part of the cows which were planned for a 0-d dry period dried themselves off and were attributed to a new group (0 → 30-d dry period), which resulted in total in four dry period groups. Blood was collected (N = 110 cows) in weeks -3, -2, -1, 1, 2, and 4 relative to calving to determine bio-markers for inflammation, liver function, and oxidative stress. Uterine health status (UHS) was monitored by scoring vaginal discharge (VD) based on a 4-point scoring system (0, 1, 2, or 3) in weeks 2 and 3 after calving. Cows were classified as having a healthy uterine environment (HU, VD score = 0 or 1 in both weeks 2 and 3), nonrecovering uterine environment (NRU, VD score = 2 or 3 in week 3), or a recovering uterine environment (RU, VD score = 2 or 3 in week 2 and VD score= 0 or 1 in week 3). Independent of dry period length, cows with NRU had higher plasma haptoglobin (P = 0.05) and lower paraoxonase levels (P < 0.01) in the first 4 weeks after calving and lower liver functionality index (P < 0.01) compared with cows with HU. Cows with NRU had lower plasma albumin (P = 0.02) and creatinine (P = 0.02) compared with cows with a RU, but not compared with cows with HU. Independent of UHS, cows with a 0 → 30-d dry period had higher bil-irubin levels compared with cows with 0-, 30-, or 60-d dry period (P < 0.01). Cows with RU and fed a lipogenic ration had higher levels of albumin in plasma compared with cows with NRU and fed a lipogenic ration (P < 0.01). In conclusion, uterine health was related to biomarkers for inflammation (haptoglobin and albumin) and paraoxonase in dairy cows in early lactation. Cows which were planned for a 0-d dry period, but dried themselves off (0 → 30-d dry period group) had higher bilirubin levels, which was possibly related to a more severe NEB in these cows. Inflammatory biomarkers in dairy cows in early lactation were related to uterine health in this period.

Parasite control in organic cattle farming: Management and farmers' perspectives from six European countries
Takeuchi-Storm, Nao ; Moakes, Simon ; Thüer, Susann ; Grovermann, Christian ; Verwer, Cynthia ; Verkaik, Jan ; Knubben-Schweizer, Gabriela ; Höglund, Johan ; Petkevičius, Saulius ; Thamsborg, Stig ; Werne, Steffen - \ 2019
Veterinary Parasitology: Regional Studies and Reports 18 (2019). - ISSN 2405-9390
Anthelmintic use - Cattle - Europe - Fasciola hepatica - Gastrointestinal nematodes - Organic farming

Organic ruminant production is expanding in the EU, but parasite management remains a constant challenge. Mandatory outdoor access for all age groups can increase exposure to pasture borne parasites, whilst restrictions in the prophylactic use of anthelmintics can limit parasite control. The scientific community has been working to deliver effective parasite control strategies and alternative approaches in order to slow down the development of anthelmintic resistance (AR). However, the current parasite control practices and overall awareness with regards to AR and alternative approaches on farms are largely unknown and may be causing a knowledge gap between the scientific and farming communities. Therefore, a structured survey was conducted in six European countries (Switzerland, Germany, Denmark, Netherlands, Lithuania, Sweden) to provide basic data on practices, management and farmers' perspectives for grazing and parasite control (gastrointestinal worms and liver flukes) on organic cattle farms. Overall, 375 surveys were collected (282 dairy and 93 beef farms) in 2015–2016, and analysed descriptively. Additionally, surveys from the 228 dairy farms were assessed using a double-hurdle adoption model to identify the factors involved in the decision to drench against gastrointestinal parasites. Generally, there are prominent differences between countries, with monitoring methods differing especially, which has important implications in terms of knowledge transfer. For example, media warning was the most common method in DE, while antibody testing in bulk tank milk was the common method in NL. In other countries, clinical signs (diarrhoea, hair coat quality, and reduced weight or yield) and liver condemnation data were used frequently. In general, organic farmers from the six participating countries indicated that they would accept alternative approaches despite greater cost and labour. The likelihood of drenching were higher on farms with smaller farm areas, higher number of young stock and total livestock units and farms where faecal egg counts were used to monitor the parasites. In conclusion, it was evident that grazing and parasite management varied between the countries even though they operate under the same basic principles. Parasite management strategies must therefore be country specific and disseminated with appropriate methods.

Bayesian mechanistic modeling of thermodynamically controlled volatile fatty acid, hydrogen and methane production in the bovine rumen
Lingen, Henk J. van; Fadel, James G. ; Moraes, Luis E. ; Bannink, André ; Dijkstra, Jan - \ 2019
Journal of Theoretical Biology 480 (2019). - ISSN 0022-5193 - p. 150 - 165.
Cattle - Dairy cow - Diurnal dynamics - Enteric fermentation - Global sensitivity analysis - Methanogenesis

Dynamic modeling of mechanisms driving volatile fatty acid and hydrogen production in the rumen microbial ecosystem contributes to the heuristic prediction of CH4 emissions from dairy cattle into the environment. Existing mathematical rumen models, however, lack the representation of these mechanisms. A dynamic mechanistic model was developed that simulates the thermodynamic control of hydrogen partial pressure (pH2 ) on volatile fatty acid (VFA) fermentation pathways via the NAD+ to NADH ratio in fermentative microbes, and methanogenesis in the bovine rumen. This model is unique and closely aligns with principles of reaction kinetics and thermodynamics. Model state variables represent ruminal carbohydrate substrates, bacteria and protozoa, methanogens, and gaseous and dissolved fermentation end products. The model was extended with static equations to model the hindgut metabolism. Feed composition and twice daily feeding were used as model inputs. Model parameters were estimated to experimental data using a Bayesian calibration procedure, after which the uncertainty of the parameter distribution on the model output was assessed. The model predicted a marked peak in pH2 after feeding that rapidly declined in time. This peak in pH2 caused a decrease in NAD+ to NADH ratio followed by an increased propionate molar proportion at the expense of acetate molar proportion, and an increase in CH4 production that steadily decreased in time, although the magnitude of increase for CH4 emission was less than for pH2 . A global sensitivity analysis indicated that parameters that determine the fractional passage rate and NADH oxidation rate altogether explained 86% of the variation in predicted daily CH4 emission. Model evaluation indicated over-prediction of in vivo CH4 emissions shortly after feeding, whereas under-prediction was indicated at later times. The present rumen fermentation modeling effort uniquely provides the integration of the pH2 controlled NAD+ to NADH ratio for dynamically predicting metabolic pathways that yield VFA, H2 and CH4.

Forests expand as livestock pressure declines in subtropical South America
Bernardi, Rafael E. ; Buddeberg, Marion ; Arim, Matías ; Holmgren, Milena - \ 2019
Ecology and Society 24 (2019)2. - ISSN 1708-3087
Agriculture - Campos - Cattle - Ecological transitions - Ecosystem services - Grasslands - Sheep - Tree cover - Uruguay - Vegetation shifts

Forests, savannas, and grasslands are prevalent across the landscapes of South America. Land uses associated with these ecosystems have influenced economies from household to country scales, shaping social-ecological organization across the region since pre-Hispanic societies. Recent studies suggest that tropical and subtropical grasslands, savannas, and forests represent alternative ecosystem states. Transitions between these ecosystem states can be promoted by changes in disturbance regimes and by land uses determined by the organization of societies and their activities. We analyzed how changes in agriculture, fire, and livestock management influenced forest cover over a 45-year span (1966-2011) in the Campos region, an extensive subtropical ecotone between rain forests and grasslands of South America. We found that forests contracted in areas with high crop agriculture, whereas forests increased in those grasslands where livestock densities had been reduced. These patterns were strongly associated with soil and topographic conditions because they broadly determine the potential land productivity and use. Our results show that current land use and disturbance regimes explain the large extent of grasslands across the South American Campos and suggest that changes in land use and disturbance regimes could facilitate or prevent transitions between subtropical forests, savannas, and grasslands altering the provision of ecosystem services linked to them.

The relationship between the presence of antibodies and direct detection of Toxoplasma gondii in slaughtered calves and cattle in four European countries
Opsteegh, M. ; Spano, F. ; Aubert, D. ; Balea, A. ; Burrells, A. ; Cherchi, S. ; Cornelissen, J.B.W.J. ; Dam-Deisz, C. ; Guitian, J. ; Györke, A. ; Innes, E.A. ; Katzer, F. ; Limon, G. ; Possenti, A. ; Pozio, E. ; Schares, G. ; Villena, I. ; Wisselink, H.J. ; Giessen, J.W.B. van der - \ 2019
International Journal for Parasitology 49 (2019)7. - ISSN 0020-7519 - p. 515 - 522.
Cattle - Detection - Mouse bioassay - PCR - Serology - Toxoplasma gondii

In cattle, antibodies to Toxoplasma gondii infection are frequently detected, but evidence for the presence of T. gondii tissue cysts in cattle is limited. To study the concordance between the presence of anti-T. gondii IgG and viable tissue cysts of T. gondii in cattle, serum, liver and diaphragm samples of 167 veal calves and 235 adult cattle were collected in Italy, the Netherlands, Romania and the United Kingdom. Serum samples were tested for anti-T. gondii IgG by the modified agglutination test and p30 immunoblot. Samples from liver were analyzed by mouse bioassay and PCR after trypsin digestion. In addition, all diaphragms of cattle that had tested T. gondii-positive (either in bioassay, by PCR on trypsin-digested liver or serologically by MAT) and a selection of diaphragms from cattle that had tested negative were analyzed by magnetic capture quantitative PCR (MC-PCR). Overall, 13 animals were considered positive by a direct detection method: seven out of 151 (4.6%) by MC-PCR and six out of 385 (1.6%) by bioassay, indicating the presence of viable parasites. As cattle that tested positive in the bioassay tested negative by MC-PCR and vice-versa, these results demonstrate a lack of concordance between the presence of viable parasites in liver and the detection of T. gondii DNA in diaphragm. In addition, the probability to detect T. gondii parasites or DNA in seropositive and seronegative cattle was comparable, demonstrating that serological testing by MAT or p30 immunoblot does not provide information about the presence of T. gondii parasites or DNA in cattle and therefore is not a reliable indicator of the risk for consumers.

Spatial distribution of load induced soft-tissue strain in cattle claws
Ouweltjes, W. ; Spoor, C.W. ; Leeuwen, J.L. van; Gussekloo, S.W.S. - \ 2019
The Veterinary Journal 248 (2019). - ISSN 1090-0233 - p. 28 - 36.
Cattle - Limb deformation - Mechanical loading - RSA - Sole ulcers

Claw disorders in dairy cattle have negative effects on both animal welfare and farm profits. One possible cause of claw disorders is the high mechanical load that cattle encounter when walking and standing on hard concrete floors. It is currently unclear how high mechanical loading leads to claw disorders and lameness. It is hypothesized that mechanical loading leads to compression of the soft tissue in the claws, which may directly or indirectly lead to tissue damage. Roentgen stereophotogrammetry in combination with CT-reconstruction was used to detect deformations in the distal hind limbs of dissected specimens of dairy cows under a range of loading regimens. The load was recorded in 3D using a force plate. Even at moderate load levels, such as during standing, the soft tissue layer was considerably compressed (>10% of the initial thickness), especially where the sole rests on the floor. Compression increases with increased and/or prolonged load. Most importantly, the location of areas of highest compression coincides with the locations where sole ulcers are most often found. These findings provide insight into the etiology of bovine claw disorders, and may contribute to solutions to reduce them.

Assessment of browsed plants in a sub-tropical forest frontier by means of fuzzy inference
Dechnik-Vázquez, Yanus A. ; García-Barrios, Luis ; Ramírez-Marcial, Neptalí ; Noordwijk, Meine van; Alayón-Gamboa, Armando - \ 2019
Journal of Environmental Management 236 (2019). - ISSN 0301-4797 - p. 163 - 181.
Agroforestry - Browsing - Cattle - Fuzzy inference - Silvopastoral systems

Browsing of forest frontiers by cattle in sub-tropical landscapes is detrimental to ecosystem health, but essential to smallholder livelihoods. We described a silvopastoral landscape, searching for browsed plants to assess how much of the forest is actually used for this end, and also searching for potential new useful species for silvopastoral purposes. The first objective was accomplished through a floristic description, making observations of individuals with browsing marks. Information from interviews, bromatological analyses and vegetative propagation tests further complemented this information to achieve the second objective. We classified the results using Fuzzy Inference Systems (FISs). A great variety of nutritious browsed plants was found, distributed across various types of vegetation, growth habits and taxonomic groups: forest frontiers already are like silvopastoral systems. Various plants like Acalypha leptopoda, Montanoa tomentosa and Verbesina perymenioides are interesting prospects for further intensification of silvopastoral systems.

Immunization of young heifers with staphylococcal immune evasion proteins before natural exposure to Staphylococcus aureus induces a humoral immune response in serum and milk
Benedictus, Lindert ; Ravesloot, Lars ; Poppe, Kim ; Daemen, Ineke ; Boerhout, Eveline ; Strijp, Jos Van; Broere, Femke ; Rutten, Victor ; Koets, Ad ; Eisenberg, Susanne - \ 2019
BMC Veterinary Research 15 (2019)1. - ISSN 1746-6148
Cattle - Efb - Experimental immunization - LukM - Mastitis - Milk antibodies - Natural exposure - Non-protective immunity - Staphylococcus aureus

Background: Staphylococcus aureus, a leading cause of mastitis in dairy cattle, causes severe mastitis and/or chronic persistent infections with detrimental effects on the cows' wellbeing, lifespan and milk production. Despite years of research there is no effective vaccine against S. aureus mastitis. Boosting of non-protective pre-existing immunity to S. aureus, induced by natural exposure to S. aureus, by vaccination may interfere with vaccine efficacy. The aim was to assess whether experimental immunization of S. aureus naïve animals results in an immune response that differs from immunity following natural exposure to S. aureus. Results: First, to define the period during which calves are immunologically naïve for S. aureus, Efb, LukM, and whole-cell S. aureus specific serum antibodies were measured in a cohort of newborn calves by ELISA. Rising S. aureus specific antibodies indicated that from week 12 onward calves mounted an immune response to S. aureus due to natural exposure. Next, an experimental immunization trial was set up using 8-week-old heifer calves (n = 16), half of which were immunized with the immune evasion molecules Efb and LukM. Immunization was repeated after one year and before parturition and humoral and cellular immunity specific for Efb and LukM was determined throughout the study. Post-partum, antibody levels against LukM and EfB were significantly higher in serum, colostrum and milk in the experimentally immunized animals compared to animals naturally exposed to S. aureus. LukM specific IL17a responses were also significantly higher in the immunized cows post-partum. Conclusions: Experimental immunization with staphylococcal immune evasion molecules starting before natural exposure resulted in significantly higher antibody levels against Efb and LukM around parturition in serum as well as the site of infection, i.e. in colostrum and milk, compared to natural exposure to S. aureus. This study showed that it is practically feasible to vaccinate S. aureus naïve cattle and that experimental immunization induced a humoral immune response that differed from that after natural exposure only.

Pursuing sustainability through multi-stakeholder collaboration: A description of the governance, actions, and perceived impacts of the roundtables for sustainable beef
Buckley, Kristy J. ; Newton, Peter ; Gibbs, Holly K. ; McConnel, Ian ; Ehrmann, John - \ 2019
World Development 121 (2019). - ISSN 0305-750X - p. 203 - 217.
Beef - Cattle - Commodity - Multi-stakeholder - Roundtable - Sustainability

Roundtables for sustainable beef have evolved in national contexts as well as at the global level as a multi-stakeholder process to address sustainability concerns in the cattle sector. However, due to their relatively recent inception, the literature on the beef roundtables is extremely limited and very little scholarly work has traced their process or impact. We used semi-structured interviews with key informants to examine the governance, actions, and potential impacts of the roundtables for sustainable beef, and identified opportunities and challenges for achieving greater sustainability impact. We found that the beef roundtables are in different stages of development and implementation and that they have diverse approaches based on their geographic contexts. However, they have universally adopted a model of sector-wide continuous improvement, in contrast to roundtables for other commodities, which have in many cases adopted formal certification programs. Activities by the roundtables for sustainable beef have variously included working towards definitions of sustainable beef; setting sustainability principles and criteria; and creating working groups to address specific aspects of sustainability (e.g., verification, deforestation). Our interviews identified opportunities to expand the roundtables’ roles, activities, and sustainability impacts. This study provides a benchmark of the roundtables’ efforts to date, and generates hypotheses and ideas for how they could evolve in the future.

Agricultural land use change and associated driving forces over the past 180 years in two municipalities of the Brazilian Cerrado
Arruda, Murilo Rodrigues de; Slingerland, Maja ; Santos, José Zilton Lopes ; Giller, Ken E. - \ 2019
GeoJournal 84 (2019)3. - ISSN 0343-2521 - p. 555 - 570.
Agriculture - Case study - Cattle - Cerrado - Crops - Sugarcane
This paper aims to test the hypothesis that a single driving force from the local, national, or global level is capable of triggering land use changes, including large scale deforestation, within a historical context. To reach this goal we describe and explain the driving forces from the global to farm level that have shaped agricultural land uses, as a case study, over 180 years in the municipalities of Quirinópolis and Gouvelândia in the Brazilian Cerrado. Through secondary data, field surveys, and interviews with farmers and other stakeholders involved with agricultural production, we identified four distinct periods in which drastic or little land use occurred. The evidence found supports our hypothesis. Two drastic land use changes occurred in Quirinópolis and Gouvelândia. The first one was the replacement of about 400,000 ha of original vegetation by pastures and crops between 1965 and 1985 triggered by the availability of abundant subsidized rural credits for farmers; the second one was initiated in 2005 with the replacement of 100,000 ha of pastures and cropping area by sugarcane, which was driven by the sudden domestic and world demand for sugar and ethanol.
A new model to Calibrate a Reference Standard for bovine tuberculin purified protein derivative in the target species
Frankena, Klaas ; Jacobs, Liesbeth ; Dijk, Tonny van; Good, Margaret ; Duignan, Anthony ; Jong, Mart C.M. de - \ 2018
Frontiers in Veterinary Science 5 (2018)OCT. - ISSN 2297-1769
Bovine international standard - Cattle - Guinea pigs - Mycobacterium bovis - New reference standard - Potency estimation - Tuberculin

Since 1986, use of a Bovine International Standard (BIS) for bovine tuberculin has been required to ensure national and international uniformity regarding the potency designation of bovine tuberculin Purified Protein Derivative (PPDb) preparations produced by multiple manufacturers. The BIS is the unique golden standard in the guinea pig potency assay, representing 100% potency, where potencies of production batches are calculated as relative potencies in comparison with the potency of the BIS which was set at 32,500 international Unit (IU) per mg. The stock supply and lifetime of the BIS is limited.The aim of this study was to develop a model to determine the potency of a newly produced in-house Reference Standard (RS) for PPDb with great accuracy in the target species (cattle) and to prove its precision and accuracy in the guinea pig potency test. First simulations were done to estimate the required number of cattle needed. Then, 30 naturally bTB infected cattle were subjected to a tuberculin skin test using multiple injections of both the RS and the BIS. Both were applied randomly in the same volume and concentration (1 dose). The potency of the RS against the BIS was directly derived from the least square means (LSMEANS) and was estimated as 1.067 (95% CI: 1.025-1.109), equal to a potency of 34,700 ± 1,400 IU/mg. In six guinea pig potency assays the RS was used to assign potencies to production batches of PPDb. Here, precision and accuracy of the RS was determined according to the parallel-line assay. Relative potencies were estimated by exponentiation of the common slope. The corresponding 95% confidence intervals were obtained according to Fieller's theorem. In sensitized guinea pigs, the relative potency of the RS against the BIS was 1.115 (95% CI: 0.871-1.432), corresponding to an absolute potency of 36,238 IU/mg (95% CI: 28,308-46,540).In conclusion: the method used to determine the potency of the RS against the BIS in naturally bTB infected cattle, resulted in a highly accurate potency estimate of the RS. The RS can be used in the guinea pig test to assign potencies to PPDb production batches with high precision and accuracy.

Seroprevalence and risk factors of lumpy skin disease in Ethiopia
Molla, Wassie ; Frankena, Klaas ; Gari, Getachew ; Kidane, Menbere ; Shegu, Dereje ; Jong, Mart C.M. de - \ 2018
Preventive Veterinary Medicine 160 (2018). - ISSN 0167-5877 - p. 99 - 104.
Capripoxvirus - Cattle - Ethiopia - Lumpy skin disease - Risk factors - Seroprevalence

Lumpy skin disease (LSD) is an acute or inapparent viral disease of cattle which is endemic in many African and Middle East countries. LSD is one of the major transboundary livestock diseases in Ethiopia. A cross-sectional study using multistage cluster sampling was undertaken in central and north-western parts of Ethiopia with the objectives to estimate seroprevalence and to identify and quantify risk factors contributing to the occurrence of the disease. A total of 2386 cattle sera were sampled from 605 herds and 30 clusters (kebeles) located in 10 districts and tested for presence of LSD virus antibodies using virus neutralization test. All the serum samples were collected from cattle having no history of LSD vaccination. The overall animal level and herd level apparent seroprevalences were 25.4% (95% CI: 23.7–27.2) and 48.9% (95% CI: 44.9-52.9), respectively and varied significantly between districts. The true animal level and herd level prevalences were estimated as 26.5% (95% CI: 24.7–28.3) and 52.6% (95% CI: 48.3–56.9), respectively. At animal level, adult age (OR = 2.44 (95% CI: 1.67–3.55) compared to calf), contact with other animals (OR = 0.41 (95% CI: 0.23-0.74), compared to no contact) and presence of water bodies (OR = 1.61 (95% CI: 1.03–2.52), compared to no such bodies) were identified as the most important risk factors in relation to testing LSD positive. The putative risk factors altitude, breed, sex, and presence of animal trade route showed no significant association with LSD sero-status. Generally, cattle population with many adult animals and that live in wet areas are at highest risk, whereas cattle in frequent contact with other animals and animal species have lower risk, potentially due to a dilution effect of vectors.

Genetic covariance components within and among linear type traits differ among contrasting beef cattle breeds
Doyle, Jennifer L. ; Berry, Donagh P. ; Walsh, Siobhan W. ; Veerkamp, Roel F. ; Evans, Ross D. ; Carthy, Tara R. - \ 2018
Journal of Animal Science 96 (2018)5. - ISSN 0021-8812 - p. 1628 - 1639.
Beef - Breeds - Cattle - Type traits

Linear type traits describing the skeletal, muscular, and functional characteristics of an animal are routinely scored on live animals in both the dairy and beef cattle industries. Previous studies have demonstrated that genetic parameters for certain performance traits may differ between breeds; no study, however, has attempted to determine if differences exist in genetic parameters of linear type traits among breeds or sexes. Therefore, the objective of the present study was to determine if genetic covariance components for linear type traits differed among five contrasting cattle breeds, and to also investigate if these components differed by sex. A total of 18 linear type traits scored on 3,356 Angus (AA), 31,049 Charolais (CH), 3,004 Hereford (HE), 35,159 Limousin (LM), and 8,632 Simmental (SI) were used in the analysis. Data were analyzed using animal linear mixed models which included the fixed effects of sex of the animal (except in the investigation into the presence of sexual dimorphism), age at scoring, parity of the dam, and contemporary group of herd-date of scoring. Differences (P < 0.05) in heritability estimates, between at least two breeds, existed for 13 out of 18 linear type traits. Differences (P < 0.05) also existed between the pairwise within-breed genetic correlations among the linear type traits. Overall, the linear type traits in the continental breeds (i.e., CH, LM, SI) tended to have similar heritability estimates to each other as well as similar genetic correlations among the same pairwise traits, as did the traits in the British breeds (i.e., AA, HE). The correlation between a linear function of breeding values computed conditional on covariance parameters estimated from the CH breed with a linear function of breeding values computed conditional on covariance parameters estimated from the other breeds was estimated. Replacing the genetic covariance components estimated in the CH breed with those of the LM had least effect but the impact was considerable when the genetic covariance components of the AA were used. Genetic correlations between the same linear type traits in the two sexes were all close to unity (≥0.90) suggesting little advantage in considering these as separate traits for males and females. Results for the present study indicate the potential increase in accuracy of estimated breeding value prediction from considering, at least, the British breed traits separate to continental breed traits.

Herd-level mastitis-associated costs on Canadian dairy farms
Aghamohammadi, Mahjoob ; Haine, Denis ; Kelton, David F. ; Barkema, Herman W. ; Hogeveen, Henk ; Keefe, Gregory P. ; Dufour, Simon - \ 2018
Frontiers in Veterinary Science 5 (2018). - ISSN 2297-1769
Canada - Cattle - Dairy - Economic - Mastitis

Mastitis imposes considerable and recurring economic losses on the dairy industry worldwide. The main objective of this study was to estimate herd-level costs incurred by expenditures and production losses associated with mastitis on Canadian dairy farms in 2015, based on producer reports. Previously, published mastitis economic frameworks were used to develop an economic model with the most important cost components. Components investigated were divided between clinical mastitis (CM), subclinical mastitis (SCM), and other costs components (i.e., preventive measures and product quality). A questionnaire was mailed to 374 dairy producers randomly selected from the (Canadian National Dairy Study 2015) to collect data on these costs components, and 145 dairy producers returned a completed questionnaire. For each herd, costs due to the different mastitis-related components were computed by applying the values reported by the dairy producer to the developed economic model. Then, for each herd, a proportion of the costs attributable to a specific component was computed by dividing absolute costs for this component by total herd mastitis-related costs. Median self-reported CM incidence was 19 cases/100 cow-year and mean self-reported bulk milk somatic cell count was 184,000 cells/mL. Most producers reported using post-milking teat disinfection (97%) and dry cow therapy (93%), and a substantial proportion of producers reported using pre-milking teat disinfection (79%) and wearing gloves during milking (77%). Mastitis costs were substantial (662 CAD per milking cow per year for a typical Canadian dairy farm), with a large portion of the costs (48%) being attributed to SCM, and 34 and 15% due to CM and implementation of preventive measures, respectively. For SCM, the two most important cost components were the subsequent milk yield reduction and culling (72 and 25% of SCM costs, respectively). For CM, first, second, and third most important cost components were culling (48% of CM costs), milk yield reduction following the CM events (34%), and discarded milk (11%), respectively. This study is the first since 1990 to investigate costs of mastitis in Canada. The model developed in the current study can be used to compute mastitis costs at the herd and national level in Canada.

The effect of essential oils of tagetes minuta and tithonia diversifolia on on-host behaviour of the brown ear tick rhipicephalus appendiculatus
Wanzala, W. ; Hassanali, A. ; Mukabana, W.R. ; Takken, W. - \ 2018
Livestock Research for Rural Development 30 (2018)6. - ISSN 0121-3784
Cattle - Feeding site - Kenya - On-host orientation behavior

On-host behaviour of Rhipicephalus appendiculatus was studied in the field in Bungoma County in Kenya to evaluate the putative repellent effects of essential oils of Tagetes minuta and Tithonia diversifolia at its predilection feeding site. Oils of both plants caused a disruption of orientation, movement and attachment behaviour of ticks. More ticks dropped off in the treatments with the two essential oils than with the control. Treating the ear pinna with the essential oil of T. minuta caused the highest percentage of ticks to drop off the host body. No tick reached the ear pinna treated with the essential oil of T. minuta and up to 30% of ticks (from the forehead release site) reached the ear base. When the ear pinna was treated with the essential oil of T. diversifolia, one tick reached the ear pinna and up to 40% of ticks (from the dewlap release site) reached the ear base. The results show that T. minuta repels ticks more strongly than T. diversifolia. However, both essential oils offer possibilities for exploitation of potentially effective and environmentally acceptable tools for on-host tick control.

The ALFAM2 database on ammonia emission from field-applied manure : Description and illustrative analysis
Hafner, Sasha D. ; Pacholski, Andreas ; Bittman, Shabtai ; Burchill, William ; Bussink, Wim ; Chantigny, Martin ; Carozzi, Marco ; Génermont, Sophie ; Häni, Christoph ; Hansen, Martin N. ; Huijsmans, Jan ; Hunt, Derek ; Kupper, Thomas ; Lanigan, Gary ; Loubet, Benjamin ; Misselbrook, Tom ; Meisinger, John J. ; Neftel, Albrecht ; Nyord, Tavs ; Pedersen, Simon V. ; Sintermann, Jörg ; Thompson, Rodney B. ; Vermeulen, Bert ; Voylokov, Polina ; Williams, John R. ; Sommer, Sven G. - \ 2018
Agricultural and Forest Meteorology 258 (2018). - ISSN 0168-1923 - p. 66 - 79.
Ammonia - Cattle - Emission - Manure - Pig - Slurry
Ammonia (NH3) emission from animal manure contributes to air pollution and ecosystem degradation, and the loss of reactive nitrogen (N) from agricultural systems. Estimates of NH3 emission are necessary for national inventories and nutrient management, and NH3 emission from field-applied manure has been measured in many studies over the past few decades. In this work, we facilitate the use of these data by collecting and organizing them in the ALFAM2 database. In this paper we describe the development of the database and summarise its contents, quantify effects of application methods and other variables on emission using a data subset, and discuss challenges for data analysis and model development. The database contains measurements of emission, manure and soil properties, weather, application technique, and other variables for 1895 plots from 22 research institutes in 12 countries. Data on five manure types (cattle, pig, mink, poultry, mixed, as well as sludge and "other") applied to three types of crops (grass, small grains, maize, as well as stubble and bare soil) are included. Application methods represented in the database include broadcast, trailing hose, trailing shoe (narrow band application), and open slot injection. Cattle manure application to grassland was the most common combination, and analysis of this subset (with dry matter (DM) limited to <15%) was carried out using mixed- and fixed-effects models in order to quantify effects of management and environment on ammonia emission, and to highlight challenges for use of the database. Measured emission in this subset ranged from <1% to 130% of applied ammonia after 48 h. Results showed clear, albeit variable, reductions in NH3 emission due to trailing hose, trailing shoe, and open slot injection of slurry compared to broadcast application. There was evidence of positive effects of air temperature and wind speed on NH3 emission, and limited evidence of effects of slurry DM. However, random-effects coefficients for differences among research institutes were among the largest model coefficients, and showed a deviation from the mean response by more than 100% in some cases. The source of these institute differences could not be determined with certainty, but there is some evidence that they are related to differences in soils, or differences in application or measurement methods. The ALFAM2 database should be useful for development and evaluation of both emission factors and emission models, but users need to recognize the limitations caused by confounding variables, imbalance in the dataset, and dependence among observations from the same institute. Variation among measurements and in reported variables highlights the importance of international agreement on how NH3 emission should be measured, along with necessary types of supporting data and standard protocols for their measurement. Both are needed in order to produce more accurate and useful ammonia emission measurements. Expansion of the ALFAM2 database will continue, and readers are invited to contact the corresponding author for information on data submission. The latest version of the database is available at
Essential oils of indigenous plants protect livestock from infestations of Rhipicephalus appendiculatus and other tick species in herds grazing in natural pastures in western Kenya
Wanzala, Wycliffe ; Hassanali, Ahmed ; Mukabana, Wolfgang Richard ; Takken, Willem - \ 2018
Journal of Pest Science 91 (2018)1. - ISSN 1612-4758 - p. 395 - 404.
Cattle - Kenya - On-host field trials - Plant essential oils - Rhipicephalus appendiculatus - Tick repellents

The effects of formulated essential oils of Tagetes minuta and Tithonia diversifolia on Rhipicephalus appendiculatus infesting livestock were evaluated in semi-field experiments. Forty-five zebu cattle naturally infested with ticks were randomly selected from 15 herds, three animals from each. Of the three animals within each herd, one was treated with 1 g of petroleum jelly (control), one with 1 g of essential oil of T. minuta and one with 1 g of essential oil of T. diversifolia on the inner side of ear pinna, the preferred feeding site of R. appendiculatus. Tick infestation on each treated host animal was monitored daily for 18 days by counting the number of ticks attached to the animals. Within 1–4 days post-treatment, the number of ticks on animals treated with essential oils was reduced by more than half the original population. By the 5th day post-treatment, more than 75 and 60% of R. appendiculatus and other tick species, respectively, became dislodged and dropped off. A stronger repellent effect was shown by the essential oil of T. minuta than the essential oil of T. diversifolia. Mean residual protection afforded by T. minuta was 12.5 days and for T. diversifolia 7.9 days. There was no significant difference in the effectiveness of essential oils between male and female R. appendiculatus. Both T. minuta and T. diversifolia essential oils affected several other less dominant but economically important tick species. Results suggest the potential for essential oil formulations in integrated pest management of ticks and associated tick-borne diseases among resource-limited livestock farmers in tropical Africa.

Protective effects of high-potency FMDV O1 Manisa monovalent vaccine in cattle challenged with FMDV O/SKR/2010 at 7 or 4 days post vaccination
Horsington, Jacquelyn ; Perez, Claudia Beascoechea ; Maradei, Eduardo ; Novo, Sabrina Galdo ; Gonzales, Jose L. ; Singanallur, Nagendrakumar B. ; Bonastre, Paula ; Vosloo, Wilna - \ 2017
Vaccine 35 (2017)38. - ISSN 0264-410X - p. 5179 - 5185.
Cattle - Foot-and-mouth disease virus - Heterologous challenge - Vaccine efficacy
Serotype O foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) virus belonging to the SEA topotype continues to be a significant problem in the Eastern Asia region, with outbreaks in Japan and South Korea resulting in the culling of over 3.5 million cattle and pigs in recent years. High-potency O1 Manisa vaccine was previously shown to provide protection in cattle 21. days post vaccination (dpv) following challenge with a representative virus, O/SKR/2010. This study tested the ability of the O1 Manisa vaccine to protect cattle from infection and disease with the O/SKR/2010 virus within just 4 or 7. days post vaccination. The vaccine protected 50% of cattle from clinical disease when administered 7. days prior to challenge, but was not protective with just 4. days between vaccination and challenge. Viraemia was significantly reduced in animals challenged 7 dpv but not 4 dpv, compared to unvaccinated controls, however, there were no effects on the level of virus detected in nasal and oral secretions regardless of vaccination time. The level of neutralising antibodies detected in cattle challenged 7 dpv correlated with protection from clinical disease. All animals seroconverted to FMDV non-structural proteins, suggesting no sterile protection. An equal number of animals became persistently infected in both vaccine groups. The results indicated that high-potency O1 Manisa vaccine administered just 7. days prior to challenge should provide partial protection of cattle if an outbreak of O/SKR/2010, or related viruses, occurs, and would be useful to limit spread of FMDV when used in conjunction with other control measures.
Transmission dynamics of lumpy skin disease in Ethiopia
Molla, W. ; Frankena, Klaas ; Jong, Mart de - \ 2017
Epidemiology and Infection 145 (2017)13. - ISSN 0950-2688 - p. 2856 - 2863.
Cattle - Ethiopia - LSD - reproduction ratio - transmission
Lumpy skin disease (LSD) is a severe disease of cattle caused by a Capripoxvirus and often caused epidemics in Ethiopia and many other countries. This study was undertaken to quantify the transmission between animals and to estimate the infection reproduction ratio in a predominantly mixed crop–livestock system and in intensive commercial herd types. The transmission parameters were based on a susceptible-infectious-recovered (SIR) epidemic model with environmental transmission and estimated using generalized linear models. The transmission parameters were estimated using a survival rate of infectious virus in the environment equal to 0·325 per day, a value based on the best-fitting statistical model. The transmission rate parameter between animals was 0·072 (95% CI 0·068–0·076) per day in the crop–livestock production system, whereas this transmission rate in intensive production system was 0·076 (95% CI 0·068–0·085) per day. The reproduction ratio (R) of LSD between animals in the crop–livestock production system was 1·07, whereas it was 1·09 between animals in the intensive production system. The calculated R provides a baseline against which various control options can be assessed for efficacy.
Presence of Coxiella burnetii DNA in inflamed bovine cardiac valves
Agerholm, Jørgen S. ; Jensen, Tim K. ; Agger, Jens F. ; Engelsma, Marc Y. ; Roest, Hendrik-Jan - \ 2017
BMC Veterinary Research 13 (2017)1. - ISSN 1746-6148
Cattle - Coxiella burnetii - Endocarditis - PCR - Q fever

Background: Bacterial endocarditis is a recognised disease in humans and animals. In humans, infection with Coxiella burnetii can cause endocarditis, but this has not been investigated thoroughly in animals. Endocarditis in cattle is a common post-mortem finding in abattoirs and studies have identified Trueperella pyogenes as a major cause. Despite exposure of cattle to C. burnetii, the significance of this particular bacterium for development and progression of endocarditis has not been studied in detail. Cardiac valves of cattle affected with endocarditis (n = 100) were examined by histology, fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) and real time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Serum was examined for anti-C. burnetii antibodies by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Results: Serology revealed that 70% of the cattle were positive for antibodies to C. burnetii, while PCR analysis identified 25% of endocarditis valve samples as being positive. C. burnetii was not detected by FISH, probably due to the low infection levels. Most cattle had chronic valvular vegetative endocarditis with lesions being characterised by a core of fibrous tissue covered by significant amounts of fibrin, sometimes with areas of liquefaction, and with a coagulum covering the surface. In a few cases, including the case with the highest infection level, lesions were characterized by extensive fibrosis and calcification. Histologically, bacteria other than C. burnetii were observed in most cases. Conclusions: The presence of C. burnetii DNA is relatively common in cattle affected with valvular endocarditis. The role of C. burnetii remains however unknown as lesions did not differ between C. burnetii infected and non-infected cattle and because T. pyogenes-like bacteria were present in the inflamed valves; a bacterium able to induce the observed lesions. Heart valves of normal cattle should be investigated to assess if C. burnetii may be present without preexisting lesions.

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