Journal of dairy science

Intravaginally administered lactic acid bacteria expedited uterine involution and modulated hormonal profiles of transition dairy cows.

PMID 26188583


The objective of this investigation was to evaluate whether intravaginal infusion of lactic acid bacteria (LAB) around parturition could expedite involution rate of the uterus and improve reproductive performance of postpartum dairy cows. One hundred pregnant Holstein dairy cows were assigned to 1 of 3 experimental groups: (1) 1 dose of LAB in wk -2 and -1 and 1 dose of carrier in wk 1 relative to the expected day of parturition (TRT1); (2) 1 dose of LAB in wk -2, -1, and 1 (TRT2); and (3) 1 dose of carrier in wk -2, -1, and 1 (CTR). The LAB treatment was a lyophilized mixture of Lactobacillus sakei FUA3089, Pediococcus acidilactici FUA3138, and Pediococcus acidilactici FUA3140 with a cell count of 10(8) to 10(9) cfu/dose. Uterine involution and ovarian activity was evaluated by transrectal ultrasonography weekly from d 7 to 49 postpartum. Blood samples were collected from a subset of cows to quantify prostaglandin (PG) F2α metabolite (PGFM), PGE2, and progesterone. Cows treated with LAB had smaller cross-sectional areas of gravid horn and uterine body on d 14 postpartum. Cows in TRT2 resumed ovarian cyclicity earlier, as indicated by increased concentrations of serum progesterone. Cows in TRT1 had fewer days open than those in the CTR (110 vs. 150 d), whereas cows in TRT2 and CTR did not differ in days open. In addition, both TRT1 and TRT2 increased the concentrations of PGFM at calving week, and cows in TRT2 also had greater concentrations of PGE2 on d 14 and d 21 postpartum relative to CTR. Overall, cows treated intravaginally with LAB had smaller gravid horn and uterine body on d 14 postpartum than those in the CTR group. Treatment with LAB also increased concentrations of serum PGFM (3,533±328pg/mL in TRT1, 4,470±372pg/mL in TRT2, and 2,000±328pg/mL in CTR on d 0, respectively), with the TRT1 group having fewer cows that resumed ovarian cyclicity but fewer days open compared with both TRT2 and CTR groups. More research is warranted to better understand the mechanism(s) by which intravaginal LAB expedited uterine involution and affected hormonal profiles.