Associations among Trueperella pyogenes, endometritis diagnosis, and pregnancy outcomes in dairy cows

M. L.S. Bicalho, F. S. Lima, V. S. Machado, E. B. Meira, E. K. Ganda, C. Foditsch, R. C. Bicalho, R. O. Gilbert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The objective of this study was to evaluate three commonly used methods for endometritis diagnosis by comparing each one's association with the presence of intrauterine Trueperella pyogenes (TP) and reproductive performance. Lactating Holstein cows (n = 452) were evaluated a single time at 35 ± 3 days postpartum to diagnose endometritis on the basis of three criteria: presence of purulent vaginal discharge (PVD) detected by a Metricheck device, presence of purulent uterine lavage fluid (PUL), presence of cytologic endometritis (CE) based on relative abundance of polymorphonuclear leukocytes in uterine lavage fluid. A threshold of polymorphonuclear leukocytes greater than 5% was used to diagnose the occurrence of CE. Also, a swab of the uterine lavage was cultured to evaluate the presence of TP and determine its association with endometritis diagnosis criteria and pregnancy outcomes. The results showed that cows positive for TP had increased prevalence of PVD and PUL and tended to have greater prevalence of CE. Median time to pregnancy was 56 days longer, and hazard of pregnancy was 34% lower for TP-positive cows than for TP-negative cows. Presence of PUL led to a 35% lower hazard of pregnancy and 34-day-longer median time to pregnancy than cows without PUL. Likewise, cows diagnosed with PVD had a 47% lower hazard of pregnancy and 57-day-longer median time to pregnancy than cows without PVD. Cows diagnosed with CE had a 27% lower hazard of pregnancy and 42-day-longer median time to pregnancy than cows without CE. When the three different diagnostic methods were used as independent variables in a Cox's proportional hazard model that evaluated hazard of pregnancy, the variable PVD was the only statistically significant variable. Combined PUL and CE or combined PUL and PVD had no additional effects on hazard of pregnancy when compared with only PUL, only PVD, or only CE as the criterion to determine endometritis. However, combined PVD and CE had an additive detrimental effect on reproductive performance. The sensitivity and specificity of each of TP, PUL, PVD, and CE for predicting nonpregnancy at 300 days postpartum were all similar. In conclusion, TP-positive cows had impaired reproductive performance and increased likelihood of PVD and PUL. Additionally, TP-positive cows tended to have an increased prevalence of CE. Cows with PVD had the lowest reproductive performance when compared to cows with PUL or CE, suggesting that PVD at 35 days postpartum is a better criterion for the diagnosis of endometritis and reproductive failure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)267-274
Number of pages8
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 15 2016


  • Cytologic endometritis
  • Pregnancy
  • Purulent uterine lavage
  • Purulent vaginal discharge
  • Trueperella pyogenes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Small Animals
  • Food Animals
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Equine


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