The relationship between the antibody titres against Campylobacter fetus and various indices of reproductive efficiency was studied in a cross-sectional study of 178 dairy cows from three California Dairy Herd Improvement Association herds. Blood samples were collected from the lactating cows during December 1986. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays were used to determine the antibody titres of the cow against Campylobacter fetus, Haemophilus somnus and Leptospira hardjo and were classified as either negative or positive. The status of a cow as either negative or positive against Campylobacter fetus and Haemophilus somnus represents serological evidence of natural exposure to the corresponding bacterial agents. However, the status against Leptospira hardjo was assumed to reflect a vaccinal titre since all the cows studied had been routinely vaccinated against this organism in September 1986. The data on demographic and reproductive parameters pertained only to the current lactation of the cows and were obtained from Dairy Herd Improvement Association individual cow records of December 1986. Five indices of reproductive efficiency were used, namely the recent calving interval, the calving-to-conception interval, the calving-to-last-service interval, the number of services per conception, and the number of services since last calving. The serological status against Haemophilus somnus, Leptospira hardjo and other covariates suggested by the results of previous studies were included in modelling the relationships of interest. Stepwise multiple linear regression analyses were carried out to study the adjusted relationship of Campylobacter fetus with each measure of reproductive efficiency. Multivariate analyses revealed that the adjusted relationship for Campylobacter fetus with all five measures of reproductive efficiency was non-significant (p > 0.05). Among the covariates, Leptospira hardjo had a strong and independent relationship with recent calving interval, the unstandardized partial regression coefficient being -0.77. The possible biological mechanisms of these associations are discussed.
- Campylobacter fetus
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