Better Tests for Trich and Vibrio



This article written by Dr. Reynold Bergen, BCRC Science Director, originally appeared in the May 2014 issue of Canadian Cattlemen magazine and is reprinted on the BCRC Blog with permission of the publisher.

Trichomoniasis (trich, or “trick”) and bovine genital campylobacteriosis (vibrio) are venereal diseases that cause early embryonic death, repeat breeding, large numbers of open cows at the end of the breeding season, an extended calving season, and enormous economic losses. The microbes that cause trich and vibrio live in the reproductive tracts of infected cattle, but don’t enter the tissues or the bloodstream. Cows and heifers can clear these infections but bulls generally can’t, because the microbes live in the folds of the foreskin. These diseases are difficult to treat, because Continue reading

A more efficient screening test for trichomoniasis



Trichomoniasis (or trich, pronounced “trick”) and other venereal diseases can result in large numbers of open cows at the end of the breeding season, and cause enormous economic losses in the cow-calf sector. Good diagnostic tests are available for trich, but these tests require that bulls be tested three times, one week apart, with no breeding activity in between.

A recently-completed research project funded by the National Check-off and Canada’s Beef Science Cluster studied whether samples from multiple bulls could be pooled together and tested as a group using PCR trich tests. If effective, pooling strategies would make testing for trich more affordable and feasible during routine breeding soundness examinations. Continue reading

Avoid open and late bred cows: new video about trich and vibrio

Although we hope that every cows and heifer will come home from pasture bred, we learn to expect a few to be open. But if you notice cows cycling again a few months after the bull is turned out, you find far more open cows than normal when preg-checking, or calves are born months later than expected, there’s clearly a problem. You might be dealing with bovine venereal diseases like trichmoniasis (trich, pronounced “trick”) or vibriosis (vibrio, and also known as Campylobacteriosis). Continue reading

Improved test for vibriosis in bulls



Venereal diseases like trichomoniasis (trich) and vibriosis (vibrio) remain common causes of reproductive failure in cow-calf herds in western Canada. Unlike trich, there is no good diagnostic test available for vibrio.

A recently-completed research project funded by the National Check-off and Canada’s Beef Science Cluster studied polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests, which detect specific DNA sequences, as a potentially cost-effective and practical diagnostic testing strategy for identifying beef cattle with vibrio. Continue reading