Bacteriology of the reproductive tract of the peri parturient ewe and its relationship with fertility

El-Arabi, Ali Amer Ali (2009) Bacteriology of the reproductive tract of the peri parturient ewe and its relationship with fertility. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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This study took place over 3 years during which the occurence of vulval discharge was monitored in a commercial sheep flock of 400 mule ewes.
Vulval discharges were found to be physiological (Type 1), occuring immediatly after normal parturition and consisted of clear red coloured mucus which was frequently sufficiently profuse to drip from the vulva and stain the inside of the thighs. This discharge lasted for up to 7-8 days after lambing. Ewes were clinically normal with rectal temperatures between 39.1C adn 39.6C. White to brownish, watery discharge with a foetid smell was designated Type 2. Affected ewes had rectal temperatures of 39.9C ti 41.5C. The most severe discharge (Type 3) was yellow/white with large lumps of pus and affected ewes were inappetant, visibly depressed with rectal temperatures in excess of 41.5C. Ewes with Type 2 and 3 discharges were found to produce fewer lambs per ewe than the flock average in the season following the discharge (1.6 vs 1.95 in 2008 and 1.75 vs 1.92 to scanning in 2009).
Bacteria present in the discharges included E.coli and other faecal bacteria, staphylococci, especially S. aureus, corynebacteria of a number of species, C. minutissimum, C. jeikeium, C. stratum, C. pseudodiptheriticum, C. afermentans, C. urealyticum, C. renale, C. cystitidis, C. propinquum and C. argentoratense and Arcanobacterium pyogenes. Some bacterial species isolated represent first records for the sheep, especially Aerococcus urinae. Others such as Globicatella sanguinis had not previously been recorded in the sheep reproductive tract.
This study was affected by the occurence of Scrapie, which led to the culling of many of the ewes studied: Enzootic Abortion of Ewes (Chlamydophora abortus infection) which resulted in a whole flock treatment with parental oxytetracycline in two years and assistance at lambing when antimircrobial was administered. A. pyogenes was not found in vulval discharges from ewes which had received assistance and the assiciated antimicrobial treatment. The finding that severe discharges in ewes were not associated with major productivity problems was novel. The observation differs from the situation in cattle where post-partum discharges are recorded as being associated with poorer or delayed conception.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Subjects: S Agriculture > SF Animal culture > SF600 Veterinary Medicine
Colleges/Schools: College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Biodiversity, One Health & Veterinary Medicine
Supervisor's Name: Taylor, Prof. David and Logue, Prof. David
Date of Award: 2009
Depositing User: Mrs Marie Cairney
Unique ID: glathesis:2009-1368
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 07 Dec 2009
Last Modified: 10 Dec 2012 13:38

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