Postpartum uterine infection in cattle.

Department of Surgery and Obstetrics, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Mosul, Mosul, Iraq.
Animal Reproduction Science (Impact Factor: 1.58). 06/2008; 105(3-4):187-208. DOI: 10.1016/j.anireprosci.2008.01.010
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Postpartum uterine infections results from uterine contamination with bacteria during parturition. The prevalence of uterine infections varies considerably among studies. Uterine infection implies adherence of pathogenic organisms to the mucosa, colonization or penetration of the epithelium, and/or release of bacterial toxins that lead to establishment of uterine disease. The development of uterine disease depends on the immune response of the cow, as well as the species and number (load or challenge) of bacteria. The postpartum uterus has a disrupted surface epithelium in contact with fluid and tissue debris that can support bacterial growth. A variety of species of bacteria, both Gram-positive and Gram-negative aerobes and anaerobes, can be isolated from the early postpartum uterus. Most of these are environmental contaminants that are gradually eliminated during the first 6 weeks postpartum. A normal postpartum cow resolves uterine infection by rapid involution of the uterus and cervix, discharge of uterine content, and mobilization of natural host defenses, including mucus, antibodies and phagocytic cells. Clinical signs of uterine infection vary with the virulence of the causative organisms and the presence of factors that predispose to the disease. The treatment of endometritis and metritis in bovine should be directed towards improving fertility. The antibiotic should be active against the main uterine pathogens and should maintain its activity in the environment of the uterus. Also, should not inhibit the normal defense mechanisms and should be well tolerated and not induce irritation in the endometrium. Effective use of hormones in uterine infection requires knowledge of both normal reproductive endocrinology and the therapeutic characteristics of available hormonal preparations.

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