Energy status, lipid-soluble vitamins, and acute phase proteins in periparturient Holstein and Jersey dairy cows with or without sub-clinical mastitis

Date of Completion

January 2006


Agriculture, Animal Culture and Nutrition




In a retrospective study, associations were determined among indices of negative energy balance, plasma lipid and lipid-soluble vitamin concentrations, plasma acute phase protein status, and occurrence of new intramammary infection (IMI) during the periparturient period for 15 Holstein and 15 Jersey dairy cows. Cows with body condition score (BCS) of 3.71 ± 0.12 and body weight (BW) of 619 ± 25.9 kg were paired based on breed, expected parturition date (EPD) and monitored from the cessation of lactation through 8 wk of the subsequent lactation. A cow was identified as developing a new IMI if an intramammary pathogen isolated postpartum differed from that of wk -9 (relative to EPD). Cows with a new IMI had greater BCS, BW, BW loss, plasma non-esterified fatty acid (NEFA) and β-Hydroxy butyrate (BHB) concentrations as compared to cows without a new IMI. Plasma α-tocopherol and albumin concentrations were greater for cows without a new IMI. In contrast, plasma haptoglobin was increased at wk 1 postpartum for both groups. Plasma apolipoprotein (apo) B, retinol-binding protein (RBP) and transthyretin (TTR) concentrations were reduced and milk fat yield was increased in cows with high peak plasma BHB. A greater lipid mobilization was observed for Holstein cows, as assessed by greater loss in BCS and BW, and increased plasma concentrations of NEFA and BHB, compared with Jersey cows. In addition, Holstein cows with a greater peak plasma BHB concentration had reduced plasma RBP, TTR and apo B concentrations as compared to Holstein cows with lower peak BHB concentration. Jersey cows without a new IMI had greater plasma β-carotene at wk -9 compared to Jersey cows with a new IMI and Holstein cows regardless of IMI status. Holstein and Jersey cows with greater tissue energy stores prepartum and reduced plasma proteins and α-tocopherol had a greater risk for developing a new IMI during the periparturient period. ^