This week a World Buiatrics Congress (WBC) workshop focused on new bovine trichomoniasis (trich) research identifying prevalence in Mexican breeding bulls, the disease’s reproductive and economic impact, the role diagnostics play in disease management and diagnostic requirements for interstate movement of bulls in the U.S.
In collaboration with the Universidad Autónoma de Chihuahua (UACH), Thermo Fisher Scientific recently conducted a study revealing that 25 percent of beef breeding bulls from the State of Chihuahua, Mexico, were infected with trich. The study utilized the VetMAX™-Gold Trich Detection Kit, a real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test, which has received a United States Department of Agriculture license.
The significant prevalence of trich in this study might help explain the low calving rate in Mexico, according to Ivan Leyva-Baca DVM PhD, Animal Health Product Applications Specialist at Thermo Fisher Scientific and presenter at the WBC workshop.
“For several years, despite the implementation of proper management strategies, such as proper nutrition, mineral supplementation and breeding soundness examination of bulls, the national and state average calving rate remained as low as 50 percent,” said Leyva-Baca. “Therefore, we hypothesize that the presence of trich in these herds may contribute negatively to the calving rate.”
Leyva-Baca explained the first stage of the study revealed that of the 450 beef bulls tested, 113 were positive, showing a prevalence of 25 percent of breeding bulls.
“Knowing the trich status of the herd by diagnostic testing can help producers take the right measures to reduce economic loss,” said Leyva-Baca. “We’ve gained valuable insights from Mexican producers who, two years after the prevalence study, had managed the disease utilizing the power of diagnostics. One of the producers was able to increase the calving rate from 33 to 72 percent when proper management was implemented, such as culling infected bulls, letting cows cycle at least three times (60 days) to allow them to clear out the disease, followed by artificial insemination (AI) using clean bulls that tested negative for three consecutive real-time PCR tests to breed the cows after AI.”
“A similar case has been reported in Spain, where a trich prevalence study demonstrated that infected herds can reduce income by as much 68.7 percent, and that proper management is fundamental to restore productivity,” Leyva-Baca said. “Ultimately, in the case study from Chihuahua, the implementation of diagnostics for trich and proper management practices significantly increased the calving rate, which helped increase the profitability of the herd substantially.”
Also at the WBC workshop, Esther Collantes Fernández DVM PhD, of the University Complutense of Madrid, spoke about the reproductive and economic benefits of control measures for trich in Spanish beef cattle. The final workshop presentation featured Jeff Baxter, Global Senior Product Manager with Thermo Fisher Scientific, who spoke about harmonizing trich diagnostic testing and regulation requirements for interstate movement of bulls in the U.S.
For more information about the Mexican trich prevalence study, as well as VetMAX™-Gold Trich Detection Kit and other leading diagnostic products, visit www.thermofisher.com/animalhealth.