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Abstract

The objective of this study was to compare the efficiency of artificial insemination (AI) carried out with frozen and fresh, diluted and chilled semen under field conditions. One hundred and twenty-nine mares of different breeds were included in the study. Eighty-one out of the 107 mares inseminated with fresh, chilled semen got pregnant. Seven pregnant mares aborted and 74 foals were born. Out of the 22 mares inseminated with frozen semen, 17 mares got pregnant. Two mares out of the 17 pregnant mares aborted and finally 15 healthy foals were born. No difference was found between the two groups in the ratio of the foals born (P > 0.05). The comparison of medians for the number of insemination cycles did not show significant differences. However, a significant difference (Kruskal–Wallis test, P = 0.014) was found in the number of the inseminations per conception in favour of frozen semen (2.5 vs. 1.8 with fresh chilled and frozen semen, respectively). The Cox regression revealed that the type of semen has a significant impact (P < 0.001) on the service period (duration of the insemination period): the use of frozen semen prolonged the insemination period. This could be due to management issues, since re-insemination with frozen semen took place after only one/a few missed oestrous cycles not used for AI.

Open access
Acta Veterinaria Hungarica
Authors: Radica Djedović, Vladan Bogdanović, Dragan Stanojević, Zsolt Nemes, András Gáspárdy, and Sándor Cseh

The objective of this study was to compare the reproductive traits of heifers and the development characteristics of their calves following artificial insemination (AI) with sexed and non-sexed semen. The analysed characteristics included conception rate, gestation length, calf birth weight, calf vigour, stillbirth rate, and twinning rate. Data of 530 calves produced with sexed and 1,163 calves produced with non-sexed semen were analysed. The General Linear Model (GLM) was applied to assess the influence of semen type, farm, season of insemination, the calf’s sex and the inseminating sire on gestation length and calf birth weight. With the exception of gestation length (P > 0.05), all other traits studied were significantly (P < 0.01) influenced by the type of semen. The conception rate was 55% for conventional and 44% for sexed semen, and the average gestation length was 274.6 and 274.9 days, respectively. The mean calf birth weight was 37.47 kg for non-sexed and 36.75 kg for sexed semen. The stillbirth rate was 6.19% for conventional and 7.54% for sexed semen, while the twinning rate was 3.78% for conventional and 1.13% for sexed semen. The calves produced with non-sexed and sexed semen differed significantly in viability (P < 0.001), the latter having a lower calf vigour score. The use of conventional semen did not affect the ratio of female and male calves (52.7:47.3%; P > 0.05); however, artificial insemination with X-sorted sexed semen significantly altered the sex ratio of calves (85.1:14.9%, P < 0.01). The results obtained in this investigation are in agreement with the majority of studies which compared the fertility traits, sex ratio and calf characteristics depending on the application of artificial insemination with sexed or conventional semen.

Open access
Acta Veterinaria Hungarica
Authors: Boglárka Vincze, Márta Varga, Orsolya Kutasi, Petra Zenke, Ottó Szenci, Ferenc Baska, Alan Bartels, Sándor Spisák, Sándor Cseh, and Norbert Solymosi

Abstract

Equine grass sickness (also known as dysautonomia) is a life-threatening polyneuropathic disease affecting horses with approx. 80% mortality. Since its first description over a century ago, several factors, such as the phenotype, intestinal microbiome, environment, management and climate, have been supposed to be associated with the increased risk of dysautonomia. In this retrospective study, we examined the possible involvement of genetic factors. Medical and pedigree datasets regarding 1,233 horses with 49 affected animals born during a 23-year period were used in the analysis. Among the descendants of some stallions, the proportion of animals diagnosed with dysautonomia was unexpectedly high. Among males, the odds of dysautonomia were found to be higher, albeit not significantly, than among females. Significant familial clustering (genealogical index of familiality, P = 0.001) was observed among the affected animals. Further subgroups were identified with significant (P < 0.001) aggregation among close relatives using kinship-based methods. Our analysis, along with the slightly higher disease frequency in males, suggests that dysautonomia may have a genetic causal factor with an X-linked recessive inheritance pattern. This is the first study providing ancestry data and suggesting a heritable component in the likely multifactorial aetiology of the disease.

Open access