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Journal of dairy science

Milk fatty acids as possible biomarkers to diagnose hyperketonemia in early lactation.


PMID 26094221

Abstract

The aim of this study was to assess the potential of milk fatty acids as diagnostic tool for hyperketonemia of 93 dairy cows in a 3×2 factorial arrangement. Cows were fed a glucogenic or lipogenic diet and originally were intended to be subjected to a 0-, 30-, or 60-d dry period. Nevertheless, some of the cows, which were intended for inclusion in the 0-d dry period group, dried off spontaneously. Milk was collected in wk 2, 3, 4, and 8 of lactation for milk fat analysis. Blood was sampled from wk 2 to 8 after parturition for β-hydroxybutyrate (BHBA) analysis. Cases were classified into 2 groups: hyperketonemia (BHBA ≥1.2mmol/L) and nonhyperketonemia (BHBA <1.2mmol/L). Concentrations of 45 milk fatty acids and ratios of anteiso C15:0-to-anteiso C17:0 and C18:1 cis-9-to-C15:0 were subjected to a logistic regression analysis (stepwise forward method). The milk fat C18:1 cis-9-to-C15:0 ratio revealed the most discriminating factor for diagnosis of hyperketonemia. Ninety percent of nonhyperketonemia cases showed a milk fat C18:1 cis-9-to-C15:0 ratio of 40 or lower, whereas 70% of cows suffering from hyperketonemia showed milk fat C18:1 cis-9-to-C15:0 ratios exceeding 40. Additionally, cows with a milk fat ratio C18:1 cis-9-to-C15:0 of at least 45 in wk 2 after parturition had about 50% chance to encounter blood plasma BHBA values of 1.2mmol/L or more during the first 8 wk of lactation. Of the cows not suffering from hyperketonemia during the first 2 mo of lactation, only 9% exceeded this wk 2 threshold. Practical implementation requires routine analysis of both milk fatty acids, which currently is lacking for C15:0. The inclusion of other variables, such as test-day information and a more frequent sampling protocol should be considered to further improve diagnostic performance of this biomarker.

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