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Effect of adjunctive treatment with intravenously administered Propionibacterium acnes on reproductive performance in mares with persistent endometritis

Barton W. RohrbachDepartment of Comparative Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37996

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Peter C. SheerinRood and Riddle Equine Hospital, 2150 Georgetown Rd, Lexington, KY 40511

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Charles K. CantrellOcala Equine Associates, 10855 NW US Hwy 27, Ocala, FL 34482

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Phillip M. MatthewsPeterson & Smith Equine Hospital, 4747 Southwest 60th Ave, Ocala, FL 34474

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John V. SteinerHagyard Equine Medical Institute, 4250 Iron Works Pike, Lexington, KY 40511

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Lewis E. DoddsNeogen Corp, 944 Nandino Blvd, Lexington, KY 40511.

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Abstract

Objective—To determine whether treatment with a preparation of Propionibacterium acnes would improve pregnancy and live foal rates in mares with persistent endometritis.

Design—Randomized placebo-controlled clinical trial.

Animals—95 mares with a cytologic diagnosis of persistent endometritis.

Procedures—Mares were treated with P acnes or placebo (both administered IV) on days 0, 2, and 6. No attempt was made to alter additional treatments administered by attending veterinarians. Information on breeding history, physical examination findings, results of cytologic examination and microbial culture of uterine samples, additional treatments administered, breeding dates, results of pregnancy examinations, whether a live foal was produced, and reactions to treatment was recorded.

Results—In multivariate logistic regression models, mare age, year of entry into the study, and first breeding within 8 days after first treatment with P acnes or placebo were significantly associated with pregnancy. Fewer number of cycles bred and younger age were significantly associated with delivery of a live foal in a separate multivariate analysis. Results of multivariate logistic regression modeling indicated that mares treated with P acnes were more likely to become pregnant and to deliver a live foal, compared with placebo-treated controls.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—IV administration of P acnes as an adjunct to conventional treatments in mares with a cytologic diagnosis of persistent endometritis improved pregnancy and live foal rates. The optimal effect was detected in mares bred during the interval extending from 2 days before to 8 days after first treatment with P acnes.

Abstract

Objective—To determine whether treatment with a preparation of Propionibacterium acnes would improve pregnancy and live foal rates in mares with persistent endometritis.

Design—Randomized placebo-controlled clinical trial.

Animals—95 mares with a cytologic diagnosis of persistent endometritis.

Procedures—Mares were treated with P acnes or placebo (both administered IV) on days 0, 2, and 6. No attempt was made to alter additional treatments administered by attending veterinarians. Information on breeding history, physical examination findings, results of cytologic examination and microbial culture of uterine samples, additional treatments administered, breeding dates, results of pregnancy examinations, whether a live foal was produced, and reactions to treatment was recorded.

Results—In multivariate logistic regression models, mare age, year of entry into the study, and first breeding within 8 days after first treatment with P acnes or placebo were significantly associated with pregnancy. Fewer number of cycles bred and younger age were significantly associated with delivery of a live foal in a separate multivariate analysis. Results of multivariate logistic regression modeling indicated that mares treated with P acnes were more likely to become pregnant and to deliver a live foal, compared with placebo-treated controls.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—IV administration of P acnes as an adjunct to conventional treatments in mares with a cytologic diagnosis of persistent endometritis improved pregnancy and live foal rates. The optimal effect was detected in mares bred during the interval extending from 2 days before to 8 days after first treatment with P acnes.

Contributor Notes

Dr. Dodds' present address is USDA, APHIS, Veterinary Services, 165 Woodcreek Blvd, Paducah, KY 42001.

Supported by a grant from Neogen Corporation.

The authors thank Dr. Arnold Saxton and Ms. Tammy Moyers for technical assistance and Drs. Scott Ahlschwede, Bart Barber, Jeffrey Berk, Armon Blair, Robert Bloomer, Lynn Bull, Nathan Earl, Luke Fallon, W. D. Fishback Jr, Joe Lyman, Jim Morehead, Eric Peterson, John Peterson, Tom Riddle, Allen Riggs, Raymond Rood, Melinda Sharp, Susan Stoterau, and Karen Wolfsdorf for participation in the study.

Address correspondence to Dr. Rohrbach.