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Animals 2018, 8(12), 226; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8120226

Intravaginal Device-Type and Treatment-Length for Ovine Estrus Synchronization Modify Vaginal Mucus and Microbiota and Affect Fertility

1
Dpto. Produccion y Sanidad Animal, Facultad de Veterinaria, Universidad Cardenal Herrera-CEU, CEU Universities, C/Tirant lo Blanc, 7, 46115 Alfara del Patriarca, Valencia, Spain
2
Granja Cerromonte SL, 05358 San Juan de la Encinilla, Ávila, Spain
3
Dpto. de Reproduccion Animal, INIA, Avda. Puerta de Hierro s/n., 28040 Madrid, Spain
4
Dpto. de Toxicologia y Farmacologia, Facultad de Veterinaria, UCM, Ciudad Universitaria s/n., 28040 Madrid, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 29 October 2018 / Revised: 20 November 2018 / Accepted: 24 November 2018 / Published: 29 November 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Cattle)
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Simple Summary

This study examined the effects of different intravaginal device types used for estrous cycle management in sheep, and the timing of their insertion, on vaginal features (characteristics of vaginal mucus discharge, pH and microbiota) and fertility under field conditions.

Abstract

Induction and synchronization of estrus and ovulation in sheep is based on intravaginal progestagen-impregnated polyurethane sponges or progesterone-loaded silicon-based devices (CIDR), in either short- (6–7 days) or long-term (12–14 days) protocols. Bearing in mind that the use of intravaginal sponges in long-term protocols has been related to the presence of vaginitis at removal, we compared the effects of sponges and CIDRs, maintained during either 7 or 14 days, on vaginal features (characteristics of vaginal mucus discharge, pH and microbiota) and fertility under field conditions. Almost all the ewes treated with intravaginal sponges showed vaginal discharge at device withdrawal, which was purulent and/or bloody in around 15% and 80% of the females treated for 7 and 14 days, respectively. The vaginal pH and microbiota changed in both groups when compared to control sheep, especially in ewes treated for 14 days, which showed a pH value around 8 and a higher incidence of Salmonella spp. and Staphylococcus aureus. On the other hand, independently of the length of the treatment, only around 15–20% of the sheep treated with CIDRs evidenced vaginal discharge (p < 0.00005 when compared to sponge groups), and such discharge was scarce, clear, and showed no changes in vaginal pH and microbiota when compared to control sheep. Fertility yields were associated with vaginal features, being higher in both short-term treatments (75%) and the long-term CIDR-based treatment (70%) than in the long-term sponge-based treatment (45%). View Full-Text
Keywords: estrus synchronization; fertility; sheep; vaginal microbiota; vaginitis estrus synchronization; fertility; sheep; vaginal microbiota; vaginitis
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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MDPI and ACS Style

Martinez-Ros, P.; Lozano, M.; Hernandez, F.; Tirado, A.; Rios-Abellan, A.; López-Mendoza, M.C.; Gonzalez-Bulnes, A. Intravaginal Device-Type and Treatment-Length for Ovine Estrus Synchronization Modify Vaginal Mucus and Microbiota and Affect Fertility. Animals 2018, 8, 226.

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