The aim of this study was to compare the reproductive performance of dairy cows subjected to early (ER) or late (LR) resynchronization programs after nonpregnancy diagnoses based on either pregnancy-associated glycoproteins (PAG) ELISA or transrectal palpation, respectively. In addition, the accuracy of the PAG ELISA for early pregnancy diagnosis was assessed. Lactating Holstein cows were subjected to a Presynch-Ovsynch protocol with timed artificial insemination (AI) performed between 61 and 74 DIM. On the day of the first postpartum AI, 1,093 cows were blocked by parity and assigned randomly to treatments; however, because of attrition, 452 ER and 520 LR cows were considered for the statistical analyses. After the first postpartum AI, cows were observed daily for signs of estrus and inseminated on the same day of detected estrus. Cows from ER that were not reinseminated in estrus received the first GnRH injection of the Ovsynch protocol for resynchronization 2. d before pregnancy diagnosis. On d 28 after the previous AI (d 27 to 34), pregnancy status was determined by PAG ELISA, and nonpregnant cows continued on the Ovsynch protocol for reinsemination. Pregnant cows had pregnancy status reconfirmed on d 46 after AI (d 35 to 52) by transrectal palpation, and those that lost the pregnancies were resynchronized. Cows assigned to LR had pregnancy diagnosed by transrectal palpation on d 46 after AI (d 35 to 52) and nonpregnant cows were resynchronized with the Ovsynch protocol. Blood was sampled on d 28 after AI (d 27 to 34) from cows in both treatments that had not been reinseminated on estrus and again on d 46 after AI (d 35 to 52) for assessment of PAG ELISA to determine the accuracy of the test. Cows were subjected to treatments for 72. d after the first insemination. Pregnancy per AI (P/AI) at first postpartum timed AI did not differ between treatments and averaged 28.9%. The proportion of nonpregnant cows that were resynchronized and received timed AI was greater for ER than for LR (30.0 vs. 7.6%). Cows in ER had a shorter interval between inseminations when inseminated following spontaneous estrus (21.7 ± 1.1 vs. 27.8 ± 0.8. d) or after timed AI (35.3 ± 1.2 vs. 55.2 ± 1.4. d). Nevertheless, the ER did not affect the rate of pregnancy (adjusted hazard ratio = 1.23; 95% confidence interval = 0.94 to 1.61) or the median days postpartum to pregnancy (ER = 132 vs. LR = 140). A total of 2,129 PAG ELISA were evaluated. Overall, sensitivity, specificity, and positive and negative predictive values averaged 95.1, 89.0, 90.1, and 94.5%, respectively, and the accuracy was 92.1%. In conclusion, PAG ELISA for early diagnosis of pregnancy had acceptable accuracy, but early resynchronization after nonpregnancy diagnosis with PAG ELISA did not improve the rate of pregnancy or reduce days open in dairy cows continuously observed for estrus.
- Dairy cow
- Pregnancy-associated glycoprotein