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  • Author or Editor: Orsolya Gabriella Balogh x
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Authors: Tímea Milisits-Németh, Orsolya Gabriella Balogh, István Egerszegi, László Kern, R. Garth Sasser and György Gábor

The early detection of pregnancy and the determination of fetal numbers have economic benefits in sheep production because of the seasonal breeding patterns where missing a breeding opportunity means the loss of one productive year. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of the B6-HRP ELISA for ovine pregnancy-specific protein B (oPSPB) measurement in the detection of pregnancy and estimation of fetal numbers in different sheep breeds. BioPRYN® ELISA assay kit was used for the detection of pregnancy in the experimental animals. Ninety-three ewes of three breeds (British Milksheep – BM, Lacaune – L and Transylvanian Racka – TR), each from three farms in Hungary, were included in the study. BM and L ewes were artificially inseminated (AI). Thirty-five days after AI, all ewes were examined by transabdominal ultrasound. The TR flock was mated naturally over a six-week period. At the end of the mating period, the ewes were similarly examined by ultrasound. Blood samples were taken from all pregnant ewes twice (35 and 65 days after AI), and serum samples were assayed by the BioPRYN test. It can be concluded that the detection of serum PSPB by ELISA is a much easier, safer, less expensive and highly accurate method for the detection of ovine pregnancy. Although some breed-related differences were detectable at 35 and 65 days post breeding, no differences in oPSPB levels were found in pregnant ewes carrying different numbers of fetuses.

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Authors: Zoltán Szelényi, Orsolya Gabriella Balogh, Fernando Lopez-Gatius, Irina Garcia-Ispierto, Eszter Krikó and György Gábor

Double ovulation occurs more frequently in multiparous cows with high milk production than in primiparous cows and the rate of twin pregnancy/calving is increasing worldwide. Diagnosis of twin pregnancy is possible by ultrasound at the time of early pregnancy examination [28–34 days after artificial insemination (AI)]. Pregnancy proteins are also well-known indicators of gestation. The risk of pregnancy loss during the first trimester of gestation for cows carrying twins is three to nine times higher than for cows carrying singletons. Pregnancy-specific protein B (PSPB) is a good indicator not only of pregnancy but also of pregnancy loss. The aims of this study were (a) to collect calving data in some Hungarian Holstein-Friesian herds (n = 7,300) to compare PSPB serum concentrations (measured 29–35 days post insemination) in twin- and singleton-calving cows (Trial 1), and (b) to check the predictive value of PSPB serum concentration for twin pregnancy and pregnancy loss in high-producing Spanish Holstein-Friesian cows (n = 98; Trial 2). Our results showed almost 7% twin calving rate. Although hormonal treatments are commonly believed to be major causes of twin pregnancies, our data do not support this hypothesis. The only exception is the single PGF injection, which significantly increased twin calving. No effect of milk production on the risk of twin pregnancy was found, and twin pregnancy increased with parity. The AI bull, the bull’s sire, the bull’s grandfather and the cow’s father also affected twin calving (P ≤ 0.02). We found much higher frequency of twin calving in cows diagnosed pregnant with higher than 3 ng/ml serum PSPB concentrations at 29–35 days after insemination. In Trial 2, non-significant but well-marked differences were found in PSPB serum concentration between singleton- and twin-pregnant cow samples (2.1 and 2.9 ng/ml) at different bleeding times. Probably the small size of the study population and the effects of milk production on PSPB values may explain this lack of significance.

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