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Authors: András Gáspárdy, Eszter Renkó, Bence Somoskői, András Bába and Sándor Cseh

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
Authors: András Gáspárdy, Eszter Renkó, Bence Somoskői, András Bába and Sándor Cseh

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

In view of the demonstrated relationship between rumination time and health status, the general welfare and metabolic condition of ruminants are often assessed by the examination of rumen function. The main goal of this study was to monitor the daily rumination activity (RA) and its connection with actual liveweight (LW), milk yield (MY) and with two diseases (subclinical hyperketonaemia — SHK, uterine disease — UD) in 96 cows on the basis of a total of 1638 observations in Israel. The studied sample gave a highly significant response, showing that the selected diseases had a diminishing impact on RA and LW and no influence on MY. It can be concluded that the change of RA as determined by electronic monitoring, complemented by the change of LW, is a useful general indicator of health status and subclinical disease before the appearance of clinical signs.

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Authors: Ádám Nagy, Tassos Polichronopoulos, András Gáspárdy, László Solti and Sándor Cseh

Motility is one of the most important characteristics associated with the fertilising ability of spermatozoa indicating their viability and structural integrity. Therefore, the examination of motility constitutes an integral part of semen analysis. Computer-assisted semen analysis (CASA) allows an accurate and objective assessment of different sperm motion characteristics with high repeatability. The aim of this study was to evaluate the different kinematic (velocity) parameters of frozen/thawed bull semen and determine if any of them could be correlated with their fertilising capability after insemination based on the achieved pregnancy rate. Ejaculates from 10 bulls were collected and frozen. The kinematic/velocity parameters of spermatozoa were measured by CASA and compared to the pregnancy results of almost 9,000 females artificially inseminated (AI) with frozen semen of any of the 10 tested bulls. The data of the experiments are summarised mainly with a focus on the effects of individual velocities (curvilinear velocity: VCL, straight-line velocity: VSL, average path velocity: VAP) on fertility rather than on the influence of progressive motility as a whole. We conclude that VAP is the most useful semen motility characteristic which has clinical relevance in the prediction of fertility.

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Authors: András Gáspárdy, Gil Ismach, Árpád Bajcsy, Gyula Veress, Szilárd Márkus and István Komlósi

Mastitis is a persistent, inflammatory reaction of the udder tissue, which entails a decline in potassium, and is also responsible for a higher somatic cell count (SCC) and electrical conductivity (EC) of milk. The measurement of EC is an indirect, rapid method to detect subclinical mastitis from milk. The aim of this study was to analyse the EC of milk throughout the lactation, around the day of mastitis detection, and also to estimate its heritability based on data from a large-scale dairy farm. Shortly after calving the EC value generally decreases; however, it was discovered that from the thirteenth week onwards, substantial differences arise between the mastitic and healthy groups of cows. The authors observed a significant (P < 0.001) increase in EC before the detection of clinical mastitis. This higher value (around 11 mS) persisted for 4 days, then it gradually returned to the normal level. The EC of milk from daughters sired by different bulls responded differently in case of mastitis. The heritability of EC seems to be high (h2 = 0.56). Therefore, the EC trait can be a beneficial indicator in detecting mastitis and should be considered in sire selection.

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Authors: András Gáspárdy, Viktoria Holly, Petra Zenke, Ákos Maróti-Agóts, László Sáfár, Ágnes Bali Papp and Endre Kovács

The authors studied the present status of Hungarian indigenous sheep breeds based on the genetic background of scrapie resistance. The aim of this investigation was to estimate the relative frequency of prion haplotypes, genotypes and risk categories, as well as to reveal the efficiency of the scrapie eradication programme achieved over the last decade. A novel approach in the characterisation of prion by using its genic variation was also implemented. The authors established that the proportion of deleterious sites (%) can be a useful indicator of the eradication programme. Based on a large sample size, it was confirmed that the scrapie resistance of the Cikta breed is low, and the classification of this breed according to risk category has not improved. However, the frequent genotype ARQ and risk category 3 can also be considered characteristic of the breed. The careful use of these genotypes is permitted and will contribute to the maintenance of breed diversity. The response of prion genic variation to selection for scrapie resistance in the other breeds (Tsigai, Milking Tsigai, White Racka, Black Racka and Gyimes Racka) was definitely successful.

Open access
Authors: Zsófia Pelles, András Gáspárdy, László Zöldág, Xénia Lénárt, Nóra Ninausz, László Varga and Petra Zenke

A retrotransposon insertion in the SILV gene is associated with a peculiar phenotype of dog, known as a merle. It is characterised by various areas of their coat colour becoming diluted due to a malfunction in the eumelanin-producing pigment cells. Recent studies have shown that the exact size of the short interspersed element (SINE) insertion is in correlation with specific phenotypic attributes, but was not able to absolutely confine dogs to a certain colour pattern. Our study focused on the merle variations occurring in the Mudi breed. Altogether, 123 dog samples from 11 countries were tested and genotyped. The exact length of the merle alleles were determined by automated fluorescent capillary fragment analysis. The most frequent merle genotype in this Mudi sample collection was the ‘classic’ merle (m/M: 61.8%), whereas other variants, such as atypical (m/Ma and m/Ma+: 5.7%), harlequin (m/Mh: 13.8%), double merle (M/M: 0.8%) and mosaic profiles (17.9%) were also observed. The practical significance of testing this mutation is that, phenotypically, not only merle dogs are carriers of this insertion, but also the so-called hidden merle individuals (where the merle phenotype is fully covered by the pheomelanin-dominated colouration) are potentially capable of producing unintentionally homozygous ‘double merle’ progeny with ophthalmologic, viability and auditory impairments.

Open access
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
Authors: Boglárka Vincze, András Gáspárdy, Levente Kovács, Ervin Albert, Luca Kézér, Ferenc Baska and Ottó Szenci

Transabdominal ultrasonography has been shown to be a useful and reliable method for assessing fetal well-being in horses and cattle. To test the applicability of fetal aortic diameter measurement in cattle, 44 late-term pregnant cows and heifers were examined 21 to 0 days prior to calving. Mean fetal aortic diameter was 2.07 ± 0.14 cm and mean fetal heart rate (FHR) was 109 ± 17 bpm. Three dead calves were dissected and their aortic diameter was measured in a water bath. The mean birth weight (n = 44) was 39.9 ± 5.8 kg. There was a significant negative correlation between FHR and fetal aortic diameter. However, although some studies have shown that fetal aortic diameter strongly correlates with birth weight in near-term horses and cattle, in this study there was no correlation between fetal aortic diameter and birth weight in Holstein-Friesian cows and heifers irrespective of whether the fetus was born alive or dead.

Open access