Characterization of ketolactia in dairy cows during early lactation

Z. M. Kowalski, M. Sabatowicz, J. Barć, W. Jagusiak, W. Młocek, R. J. Van Saun, C. D. Dechow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) allows for the determination of milk acetone (mACE) and β-hydroxybutyrate (mBHB) concentrations, providing a potential herd monitoring tool for hyperketolactia, defined as elevated milk ketone bodies. The study aim was to characterize mACE and mBHB concentration dynamics during early lactation in Polish Holstein-Friesian cows. Milk samples (n = 3,867,390) were collected within 6 to 60 days in milk (DIM) over a 4-yr period (April 1, 2013 to March 31, 2017) from approximately 21,300 dairy herds (average 38.7 cows/herd). Fixed effects of parity, DIM, and their interaction on mACE and mBHB concentrations were determined using a mixed model with a herd-year-season fixed effect and random cow effect. Published hyperketolactic mACE (≥0.15 mmol/L) and mBHB (≥0.10 mmol/L) threshold concentrations were used to classify study milk samples into ketolactia groups of normal (mACE <0.15 mmol/L and mBHB <0.10 mmol/L) and hyperketolactic (HYKL; either mACE ≥0.15 mmol/L or mBHB ≥0.10 mmol/L). Additionally, HYKL samples were categorized into subpopulations as having elevated mBHB and mACE (HYKLACEBHB, mACE ≥0.15 mmol/L and mBHB ≥0.10 mmol/L), only elevated mBHB (HYKLBHB; mACE <0.15 mmol/L and mBHB ≥0.10 mmol/L), or only elevated mACE (HYKLACE; mACE ≥0.15 mmol/L and mBHB <0.10 mmol/L). Effects of parity, DIM, ketolactia group or subpopulation, and their interactions on mACE and mBHB concentrations were also determined using the mixed model that included ketolactia group or subpopulation as an independent variable. Across all data, mACE and mBHB concentrations were influenced by effects of parity, DIM, and their interaction as well as parity, DIM, ketolactia group or subpopulation, and their interactions. For all samples, mACE and mBHB concentrations decreased with increasing DIM, with mACE concentration declining more rapidly compared with mBHB. In the data set, 68% and 32% of all samples were defined as normal or HYKL, respectively. Among HYKL samples, mACE was elevated soon after calving and declined over time. In contrast, mBHB started lower after calving and increased reaching peak concentrations around 30 DIM, and then decreased. Within HYKL samples, 50.8, 41.3, and 7.9% were categorized as HYKLACEBHB, HYKLBHB, and HYKLACE respectively. Between 6 and 21 DIM, 11.3% of HYKL were classified as HYKLACE. Primiparous cows had greater (14.8%) HYKLACE samples in this time period. In conclusion, this study has characterized mACE and mBHB concentrations during early lactation and determined effects of parity, DIM, and their interaction. Using published criteria interpreting mACE and mBHB concentrations, it was intriguing to identify a unique population of samples having elevated mACE without mBHB in early lactation, especially in primiparous cows. Further research is needed to determine if this sample population represents an unhealthy metabolic status that adversely affects cow health and performance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of dairy science
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Food Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Genetics

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