Publications by authors named "Jeferson Ferreira da Fonseca"

18 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

NonSurgical Embryo Recovery from Estrus-Synchronized or Superovulated Morada Nova Ewes: A Feasible Strategy for Sheep Embryo Banking.

Biopreserv Biobank 2021 Mar 25. Epub 2021 Mar 25.

Embrapa Caprinos e Ovinos, Coronel Pacheco, Brazil.

This study assessed the feasibility of embryo production and nonsurgical embryo recovery (NSER) in Morada Nova ewes (an endangered native Brazilian breed of sheep) subjected to different estrus synchronization and/or superovulation protocols. Ewes received intravaginal sponges soaked with 60 mg medroxyprogesterone acetate (MAP), which were kept in place for six (G6;  = 12), nine (G9;  = 12), or 12 (G12;  = 12) days. Half of the ewes in each group remained estrus synchronized only () and the other half was superovulated () with 133 mg porcine follicle-stimulating hormone (pFSH). There were no differences ( > 0.05) in antral follicle counts determined with ultrasonography 60 hours before MAP sponge removal (or at the time of the first pFSH dose) among G6 (6.4 ± 0.9), G9 (6.2 ± 0.7), and G12 (5.5 ± 0.6). Estrus responses and NSER success rates did not vary ( > 0.05) among the three progestin-treatment groups of ewes for either estrus-induced or superovulated animals. The onset of estrus occurred 10-12 hours later ( < 0.01) in G9 ewes compared with G6 and G12 and the duration of estrus was ∼19 hours greater ( < 0.01) in G9 than in G6. The average duration of the NSER procedure was 32.6 ± 1.3 minutes. At least one structure was recovered in 85.7% of synchronized and in 87.5% of superovulated ewes. Viable embryo recovery rates were also similar ( > 0.05) for G6 (1.0 ± 0.3 and 2.5 ± 1.5), G9 (1.3 ± 0.5 and 4.8 ± 2.0), and G12 groups (1.0 ± 0.3 and 4.8 ± 2.3; estrus-synchronized and superovulated ewes, respectively). In conclusion, progestogen pretreatment of different durations and NSER can be employed in Morada Nova ewes, resulting in reasonable viable embryo recovery rates in both estrus-synchronized and superovulated animals. Therefore, both techniques are suitable for use in commercial settings as well as small ruminant conservation programs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1089/bio.2020.0125DOI Listing
March 2021

Vaginal cytology and cervical mucus as tools to predict ovulation time in small ruminants.

Trop Anim Health Prod 2021 Mar 22;53(2):223. Epub 2021 Mar 22.

Embrapa Caprinos e Ovinos, Núcleo Regional Sudeste, Rodovia MG 133, Km 42, CEP, Coronel Pacheco, MG, 36155-000, Brazil.

The possibility of using cervical mucus and vaginal cytology as tools to predict ovulation time was assessed in 11 ewes and 11 does raised under tropical conditions. Every 12 h from progesterone removal to ovulation, estrus behavior, cervical mucus, vaginal cytology, and ovarian ultrasound exams were performed. In goats, vaginal cytology had 88% of accuracy on detecting the ovulation time. However, in sheep, there was no cell pattern in the vaginal cytology and cervical mucus varied at ovulation. In conclusion, both vaginal cytology and mucus evaluation may be useful tools to determine the ovulation time in goats; however, both strategies are less accurate in sheep.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11250-021-02667-6DOI Listing
March 2021

Luteotropic effects of human chorionic gonadotropin administered 7.5 days after synchronous estrous induction in Morada Nova ewes.

Anim Reprod Sci 2020 Dec 2;223:106644. Epub 2020 Nov 2.

Department of Pathobiology and Veterinary Theriogenology, School of Agricultural and Veterinarian Sciences, São Paulo State University, Jaboticabal, SP, Brazil; Embrapa Caprinos e Ovinos, Rodovia MG 133, Km 42, Cep 36.155-000, Coronel Pacheco, MG, Brazil. Electronic address:

This study was conducted in ewes to assess effects of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) administration after imposing an estrous induction treatment regimen. Ewes (n = 115) were treated with a 60 mg medroxyprogesterone-intravaginal-sponge for 6 d plus 200 IU of equine chorionic gonadotropin (eCG) im and 37.5 μg d-cloprostenol im 36 h before sponge removal (Day 0). After natural mating, ewes having at least one corpus luteum (CL; n = 108) were administered either 1 mL of saline (G-Control; n = 53) or 300 IU of hCG (G-hCG; n = 55) on Day 7.5 after sponge removal (Day 0). Ovarian ultrasonography and blood collection were performed on Days 7.5, 13.5, 17.5, 21.5, and 30.5. Accessory CL (aCL) were observed in 81.5 % (G-hCG) and 0.0 % (G-Control) of ewes (P = 0.0001). Diameter, area, and volume of luteal tissue were greater (P < 0.05) in G-hCG from Day 13.5 to 30.5. Progesterone (P) concentrations were greater (P < 0.05) on Days 13.5, 17.5, 21.5 and 30.5 for ewes of the G-hCG group. Pregnancy percentage was similar (P = 0.25) between groups [47.1 % (G-control) compared with 60.0 % (G-hCG)], although total number of lambs produced by estrous synchronized ewes was greater (P = 0.005) in ewes of the G-hCG group (90.9 % compared with 66.0 %). In conclusion, hCG administration 7.5 days after sponge removal from Morada Nova ewes during the non-breeding season is an effective treatment to induce aCL formation, improve luteal tissue biometry and P4 concentrations, and to enhance the total number of lambs born.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.anireprosci.2020.106644DOI Listing
December 2020

Embryo yield and quality are associated with progestogen treatment during superovulation protocol in lactating Lacaune ewes.

Theriogenology 2020 Oct 8;155:132-138. Epub 2020 Jun 8.

Embrapa Caprinos e Ovinos, Estrada Sobral/ Groaíras, km 4, CP D10, CEP 62011-000, Sobral, CE, Brazil. Electronic address:

This study assessed the effect of progestogen treatment length on ovarian parameters and embryo yield in superovulated Lacaune ewes collected by nonsurgical embryo recovery. Twenty-three lactating ewes were superovulated 30 d apart using a cross-over design. All ewes received 60 mg of MAP intravaginal sponges for 6 (G-6 group) or 9 (G-9 group) d. A total dose of 133 mg pFSH was given in six decreasing doses (twice a day) starting at 60 h before device removal. Ultrasound examination of the ovaries was performed at the first pFSH injection and one day before embryo recovery, which was performed 6-7 d after the onset of estrus. Embryo recovery was conducted only in ewes that expressed estrus and were mated. There was no difference (P > 0.05) in the total number of follicles between G-6 (15.7 ± 1.0) and G-9 (15.6 ± 0.8) at the time of the first pFSH treatment. The percentage of responding donors with ≥3 corpora lutea (CL; 78.2% [18/23] vs 69.5% [16/23]), mean (±SEM) CL number (7.0 ± 1.2 vs 8.1 ± 1.6), transcervical passage rate (94.4% [17/18] vs 83.3% [15/18], and ova/embryo recovery rate (54.5% [60/110] vs 68.0% [83/122]) were not different (P > 0.05) between the G-6 and G-9 groups. However, the mean number of viable embryos was lower (P < 0.05) in the G-6 group (1.8 ± 0.7) than in the G-9 group. (3.5 ± 1.1). In conclusion, treatment with an intravaginal MAP sponge for 9 d during a superovulation protocol is beneficial for viable embryo yield in Lacaune ewes out of the breeding season.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.theriogenology.2020.06.004DOI Listing
October 2020

Transcervical vs. laparotomy embryo collection in ewes: The effectiveness and welfare implications of each technique.

Theriogenology 2020 Sep 11;153:112-121. Epub 2020 May 11.

Faculdade de Veterinária, Universidade Federal Fluminense, Rua Vital Brazil Filho, 64, Niterói, Rio de Janeiro, 24230-340, Brazil. Electronic address:

This study assessed animal welfare in ewes subjected to transcervical (TC) or laparotomy (LP) embryo collection, and the efficiency of these two techniques. Santa Inês ewes (n = 57) received a protocol for estrus synchronization and superovulation. Cervical dilation protocol was initiated 12 h before embryo collection in all ewes. Depending on the success of cervical passage, the embryos were collected from ewes by either TC or LP. Records were made of physiological (rectal temperature (RT) and heart rate (HR)), endocrine (cortisol concentration), biochemical (glycaemia, total proteins, globulin and albumin concentrations), and behavioral variables. Data were recorded before fasting (BF) and sedation (BS), during (DC) and immediately after embryo collection (IAC), and 1 h (1hAC), 3 h (3hAC), 6 h (6hAC), 12 h (12hAC), 24 h (24hAC), and 48 h (48hAC) after embryo collection. The LP and TC procedures were applied to 22 and 35 ewes (with 100.0% and 94.3% of procedures being successful, respectively). The use of LP took longer than TC (P = 0.007) but was less effective in the recovery of uterine fluid and structures (P = 0.0002 and P = 0.0180, respectively), with no difference in the number of viable embryos recovered per animal. The TC procedure induced a greater RT at DC (P = 0.002) and IAC moments (P < 0.0001). The heart rate was greater in TC than LP in IAC (P = 0.036). On the other hand, HR was greater with LP at 12hAC (P = 0.033) and 24hAC (P = 0.002). There was no interaction between the procedures and time on total proteins, albumin, or globulin concentrations. The TC procedure induced greater glycaemia than LP in IAC (P < 0.0001). LP induced greater serum cortisol concentration than TC at DC, IAC, 1hAC (P = 0.0004; P = 0.0006; P = 0.036, respectively), even though it was greater in the TC than the LP procedure at 3hAC (P = 0.008). In conclusion, the TC embryo collection was more effective than the traditional LP procedure. Although both embryo collection procedures affected ewes' welfare, the TC procedure is probably less stressor than the LP.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.theriogenology.2020.05.004DOI Listing
September 2020

Follicular dynamics and in vivo embryo production in Santa Inês ewes treated with smaller doses of pFSH.

Anim Reprod Sci 2019 Oct 25;209:106137. Epub 2019 Jul 25.

Department of Preventative Veterinary Medicine and Animal Reproduction, School of Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences, São Paulo State University, Via de acesso Prof. Paulo Donato Castellane S/N, 14884-900, Jaboticabal, SP, Brazil. Electronic address:

To evaluate follicular dynamics, there was assessment of superovulatory response and in vivo embryo production in ewes treated with relatively smaller doses of exogenous pFSH than typically used in combination with a dose of eCG at the beginning of the gonadotropin treatment period. Santa Inês ewes (n = 24) were randomly divided into three groups, based on mg dose of pFSH administered: G200 (n = 8), G133 (n = 8) and G100 (n = 8) in eight decreasing doses at 12 -h intervals. All ewes were treated with 300 IU of eCG concomitantly starting with first pFSH administration. Ovulatory follicular dynamics and follicular wall vascularization (FWV) were evaluated using a B-mode and color Doppler ultrasonic machine, respectively. Superovulatory response and embryo production were evaluated 6 days after estrous detection. In the G200 group, the preovulatory follicle size (PFS) were less (P <  0.05), ovulation time later (P <  0.05), and PFS rate greater (P <  0.05); while in the G100 group ovulation rate, and number and percentage of unfertilized eggs were greater (P <  0.05) than in the G133 group (P <  0.05). Number and percentage of viable embryos were greater in the G200 and G100 compared to G133 group (P <  0.05). The dose of 100 mg of FSH was as efficacious as the traditional dose of 200 mg, in combination with a dose of eCG, for superovulatory response and viable embryo production but there was a greater percentage of unfertilized eggs with this treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.anireprosci.2019.106137DOI Listing
October 2019

Differences in the thermal sensitivity and seminal quality of distinct ovine genotypes raised in tropical conditions.

Theriogenology 2019 Jan 29;123:123-131. Epub 2018 Sep 29.

Laboratory of Animal Reproduction, Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation, Embrapa Southeast Livestock (CPPSE/Embrapa), São Carlos, SP, Brazil. Electronic address:

For different ovine breeds to maximize their reproductive capacity in countries with tropical climate, it is important to evaluate their potential for thermal resilience and consequences on their reproductive traits. Therefore, the objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of thermal environment temperatures of climate seasons in a tropical climate region on the surface temperatures of the scrotum, testicular biometric characteristics, seminal quality and serum testosterone concentration of rams of different genotypes. Breeders of four different genotypes (Dorper, n = 8, Texel, n = 8, Santa Inês, n = 9 and Morada Nova, n = 8) were used throughout the four climate seasons. Higher thermal challenge was recorded in the spring and summer. In the summer increase in scrotal surface temperature was detected by infrared thermography (P < 0.05), mainly in the regions of the distal testicular pole and tail of the epididymis. The animals of the Texel genotype had higher rectal temperature in the summer. In spring, this genotype also had the highest testicular pole (32.2 ± 0.5 °C; P < 0.05) and distal (29.9 ± 0.4 °C; P < 0.05) temperatures and a higher mean testicular temperature (31.7 ± 0.4 °C; P < 0.05). The Morada Nova genotype showed a higher surface temperature gradient between testicular poles (2.96 ± 0.1 °C; P < 0.05), especially in spring. Genotype-dependent thermal sensitivity was detected for the thermal gradient between the testicular poles, reflecting the seminal quality. There was a positive correlation of the thermal gradient between testicular poles with sperm membrane integrity and negative correlation with total sperm defects. The Texel genotype showed less progressive motility and higher percentage of sperm defects. There was no difference in testosterone concentration between genotypes and in the different seasons (P > 0.05). Thus, the indigenous genotypes showed a greater capability to maintain the scrotum-testicular thermoregulation. Dorper animals resembled the indigenous sheep genotypes, in terms of seminal characteristics, unlike Texel animals, which showed lower adaptability and lower seminal quality.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.theriogenology.2018.09.037DOI Listing
January 2019

Combined treatment with oestradiol benzoate, d-cloprostenol and oxytocin permits cervical dilation and nonsurgical embryo recovery in ewes.

Reprod Domest Anim 2019 Jan 29;54(1):118-125. Epub 2018 Sep 29.

Universidade Federal Fluminense, Niterói, Brazil.

This study examined the feasibility of transcervical embryo recovery after the hormonal treatment to induce cervical dilation, following the 7-day oestrous synchronization protocol in multiparous Santa Inês ewes. A total of 23 cyclic ewes received two doses of 37.5 μg of d-cloprostenol by latero-vulvar route 7 days apart. After the second injection of d-cloprostenol, the ewes were checked for oestrus (every 12 hr) and then mated by fertile rams throughout the oestrous period. All ewes received 37.5 μg of d-cloprostenol (latero-vulvar) and 1 mg of oestradiol benzoate by either intramuscular (EBim group; n = 12) or intravaginal (EBivg group; n = 11) route 16 hr before embryo flushing. Twenty minutes before the flushing, 50 IU of oxytocin were administered intravenously. The oestrous response (i.e., the percentage of ewes that showed signs of oestrous behaviour after the second d-cloprostenol injection) was 91.3% (21/23). The proportion of successfully penetrated ewes (81.8% compared with 80.0%), the mean duration of embryo flushing (24.7 ± 2.0 min compared 26.2 ± 1.9 min), the flushing fluid recovery rate (94.8 ± 1.3% compared with 91.0 ± 2.9%) and the average number of structures recovered per ewe (0.5 ± 0.4 compared with 0.8 ± 0.4) did not vary (p > 0.05) between the EBim and EBivg groups. Viable embryos were recovered from 41.2% (7/17) of successfully penetrated ewes. It can be concluded that nonsurgical (i.e., transcervical) embryo collection can be performed in oestrous-synchronized Santa Inês ewes pretreated with d-cloprostenol, oxytocin and oestradiol benzoate, with the latter hormone administered by either the intramuscular or intravaginal route.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/rda.13318DOI Listing
January 2019

Effects of hCG administration on accessory corpus luteum formation and progesterone production in estrous-induced nulliparous Santa Inês ewes.

Anim Reprod 2018 Aug 16;15(2):135-139. Epub 2018 Aug 16.

Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Fluminense Federal University, Niterói, RJ, Brazil.

The effect of hCG administration on accessory corpus luteum (ACL) formation, CL area, and plasma progesterone (P4) concentration (ng/mL) seven days after breeding was studied in nulliparous Santa Inês sheep. Intravaginal 60 mg MAP sponges were inserted into ewes for six days and 300 IU eCG i.m. and 30 µg d-cloprostenol latero-vulvar were administered 24 h before sponge removal. Ewes were naturally bred and, seven days after first mating (Day 0; D0), were treated with either 250 IU hCG (hCG group; n = 7) or 1 mL saline solution (control group; n = 7). Blood was collected to determine plasma P4 concentrations and sonograms were performed on Days 7, 10, 13, 16, 19, and 22. Number of CL on D7 was similar (P > 0.05) between hCG (1.3 ± 0.5) and control (1.3 ± 0.5) groups; however, on D13, it was greater (P < 0.05) in the hCG group (2.3 ± 0.5) than in the control group (1.3 ± 0.5). A greater (P < 0.05) luteal tissue area was detected in hCG-treated ewes (n = 4) on Days 16 to 22 than in the animals in the control group (n = 7). Plasma P4 concentration on D13 to D22 was higher (P < 0.05) in hCG-treated animals than in control ewes. Administration of hCG seven days after estrus onset efficiently induced accessory CL formation in ewes, increasing luteal tissue area and plasma P4 concentration.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.21451/1984-3143-AR2017-957DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8186880PMC
August 2018

Cervical transposition test using Hegar dilator at oestrus as a tool to select ewes for transcervical embryo collection.

Reprod Domest Anim 2019 Jan 5;54(1):126-128. Epub 2018 Sep 5.

Faculdade de Veterinária, Universidade Federal Fluminense (UFF), Niterói, Brazil.

This study evaluated the cervical transposition method as a tool to select ewes for embryo collection by transcervical route. Adult Santa Inês ewes (n = 50) received Day 0 protocol for superovulation treatments. The cervix transposition test was performed both at oestrus and at the embryo collection time. The latter was preceded by hormonal cervical dilation. The sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, negative predictive value and accuracy were 85.7%, 66.6%, 85.7%, 66.6% and 80.0%, respectively. The kappa index yielded a moderate score (κ = 0.52). In conclusion, the high sensitivity and accuracy indicate that the cervical transposition test is a screening option to select ewes for embryo collection by transcervical route.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/rda.13306DOI Listing
January 2019

Anti-Müllerian hormone and antral follicle count are more effective for selecting ewes with good potential for in vivo embryo production than the presence of FecG mutation or eCG pre-selection tests.

Theriogenology 2018 Jun 23;113:146-152. Epub 2018 Feb 23.

Faculdade de Veterinária, Universidade Federal Fluminense, Rua Vital Brazil Filho, 64, CEP 24230-340, Niterói, RJ, Brazil.

This study aims to compare four different methods for selecting high responding sheep donors for in vivo embryo production. These methods include a pre-selection eCG test (eCG), antral follicle count (AFC), plasma anti-Müllerian hormone measurement (AMH) and genotyping for the presence of the FecG mutation (a polymorphism in the GDF9 gene associated with increased ovulation rate). Santa Ines ewe lambs (n = 25) underwent superovulation (SOV) with 800 IU equine chorionic gonadotropin (eCG) and the corpus luteum (CL) count was recorded by laparoscopy after eight days. At the D0, blood samples for AMH and genotyping analysis were collected. Twenty-one days after the end of the eCG test, the same animals underwent SOV with 200 mg of FSH, administered in six decreasing doses, and then naturally mated. Immediately before the beginning of the FSH protocol (D0), and at the moment of the first FSH dose (D9), the AFC was assessed. Plasma AMH was again determined at the D9. After each screening process, animals were classified as having a high (HR), or low (LR), potential of response (using specific thresholds for each method). Then, the ewes' response to SOV and embryo yield for each screening method, classified as HR or LR, were compared. Animals classified as HR by AFC (HR) and by AMH concentration (HR) at the D9, produced more viable embryos than those classified as LR and LR (HR 6.2 ± 3.2 vs LR 2.8 ± 3.0 and HR 6.6 ± 3.6 vs LR 3.0 ± 2.9). Pre-selection tests with eCG and different FecG genotypes, either heterozygous (+/E) or wild type (+/+), were unable to discriminate HR or LR animals. A tendency (P = 0.06) to have lower plasma AMH was observed in heterozygous FecG (+/E) ewes. In conclusion, both AFC and plasma AMH can be used to select donor ewes with a higher potential of response for in vivo embryo production.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.theriogenology.2018.02.018DOI Listing
June 2018

Use of two doses of cloprostenol in different intervals for estrus synchronization in hair sheep under tropical conditions.

Trop Anim Health Prod 2018 Feb 4;50(2):427-432. Epub 2017 Nov 4.

Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Fluminense Federal University, Av. Vital Brasil Filho, 64, CEP, Niterói, RJ, 24230-340, Brazil.

This study evaluated the effect of two doses of prostaglandin at different intervals on reproductive parameters of crossbred ewes. In Experiment 1, 30 ewes received two doses of 120 μg cloprostenol at 7 (G ), 9 (G ), or 11.5 (G ) days apart. Ultrasound assessments were performed from the first and second cloprostenol administration for 5 days or ovulation detection. Estrus signs were checked by a teaser male. Plasma progesterone concentration was measured before each cloprostenol dose. In Experiment 2, 95 ewes were allocated into the same treatments and after the second dose, ewes in estrus were mated. At 30 days after breeding, pregnancy diagnosis was conducted and prolificacy was evaluated at lambing. In Experiment 1, at the first cloprostenol administration, 50% of ewes had an active CL and all showed estrus. At the second administration, 66.7% of ewes had an active CL and one did not present estrus. There was no difference (P > 0.05) after the second dose for as follows: overall estrous response (90%), interval from cloprostenol administration to estrous onset (42.0 ± 4.9 h), estrus duration (31.5 ± 2.1 h), ovulation rate (100.0%), and number of ovulations (1.5 ± 0.3). In Experiment 2, both pregnancy and prolificacy rates were similar (P > 0.05) for G (73.3; 145%), G (75.9; 125%), or G (75.9; 145%), leading to an overall pregnancy rate of 75.0% (66/88) and prolificacy rate of 137% Therefore, the three treatments proposed were able to promote high pregnancy and prolificacy rates in crossbred ewes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11250-017-1454-xDOI Listing
February 2018

Early pregnancy diagnosis in ewes by subjective assessment of luteal vascularisation using colour Doppler ultrasonography.

Theriogenology 2018 Jan 22;106:247-252. Epub 2017 Oct 22.

Faculdade de Veterinária, Universidade Federal Fluminense, Niterói, Rio de Janeiro, 24230-340, Brazil. Electronic address:

This study was designed to evaluate early pregnancy diagnosis using colour Doppler ultrasonography (US) for luteal vascularisation assessment. In Study 1, 28 ewes were artificially inseminated (Day 0), and luteal vascularisation was assessed from Day 12 to Day 19 by two evaluators using colour Doppler US, categorising the corpus luteum (CL) on a subjective scale ranging from 1 to 4. Females bearing a CL with score 2 or greater were presumably considered pregnant. Pregnancy was confirmed on Day 30 by B-Mode US. In Study 2, a predictive pregnancy diagnosis was performed on Day 17 in 197 ewes based on the criteria described in Study 1. Pregnancy was confirmed by B-mode US on Day 45. Agreement between evaluators was verified by an intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) and Kappa index (κ). Performance of colour Doppler US for early pregnancy diagnosis was evaluated calculating sensitivity (Sens), specificity (Spec), negative predictive values (NPV), positive predictive values (PPV) and accuracy (Ac). In Study 1, luteal vascularisation assessment was unable to predict non-pregnant animals between 12 and 14 days after insemination, as all animals still had vascularised CL, and thus were considered pregnant. The colour Doppler US performance improved progressively until Day 17, when it reached maximum values (Sens = 100%, Spec = 76%, PPV = 73%, NPV = 100% and Ac = 86%). The subjective scale for luteal irrigation assessment showed medium to good agreement among evaluators on Day 12 and Day 13 (ICC = 0.66 and 0.68, respectively), and excellent agreement from Day 14 to Day 19 (ICC = 0.90, 0.80, 0.80, 0.84, 0.95 and 0.93, respectively). Agreement was almost perfect for score 1 CLs (κ = 0.87), and moderate for scores 2, 3 and 4 CLs (κ = 0.54, 0.48 and 0.41, respectively). In Study 2, performance of colour Doppler US as a tool to predict pregnancy status in ewes on Day 17 post-insemination was as follows: Sens = 93.5%, Spec = 80.8%, PPV = 85.6%, NPV = 91.1% and Ac = 87.8%. Subjective luteal vascularisation assessment using colour Doppler US to distinguish between pregnant and non-pregnant animals was considered a reliable tool which was highly efficient beginning 17 days after breeding.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.theriogenology.2017.10.029DOI Listing
January 2018

Effect of different hormonal combinations on follicular wave emergence and superovulatory response in sheep.

Theriogenology 2017 Nov 26;103:24-29. Epub 2017 Jul 26.

Faculdade de Veterinária, Universidade Federal Fluminense, Niterói, RJ, Brazil. Electronic address:

The aim of the present study was to compare hormonal treatments to induce and synchronize follicular wave emergence to improve the results of superovulatory (SOV) treatments in ewes. In Experiment 1 (n = 66), ewes were treated with a progesterone intravaginal implant plus a PGF analogue (group G), or with the same treatment plus estradiol benzoate (G), a GnRH agonist (G), or both, estradiol benzoate and a GnRH agonist (G) in a 2 × 2 factorial arrangement. Follicular wave emergence was determined by ultrasound. Follicular wave did not emerge during the studied period in 10 females (one from G, six from G and three from G). Follicular emergence was less synchronized (P = 0.007) when estradiol was administered (G: 103.6 ± 22.0 h), without any interaction with GnRH treatment (G: 80.1 ± 21.4 h, G: 52.5 ± 8.7 h, G: 56.6 ± 10.4 h). Estradiol administration delayed the moment of follicular emergence (P = 0.007) and the follicular wave emergence moment in which follicular dominance was achieved (P = 0.009), without interactions between estradiol and GnRH in the moment of follicular wave emergence or dominance. In Experiment 2 (n = 22), two SOV protocols were compared: the best treatment of Experiment 1 (G) was used to synchronize follicular wave emergence, initiating the SOV treatment 2.5 days later; in the control treatment, SOV treatment started 80 h after a short-term protocol to synchronize ovulation (G). The number of corpora lutea (CL) and the evaluation of the collected embryos were performed six days after estrus. Blood samples were collected daily for plasma progesterone determination. Although the number of CL was similar in G (7.1 ± 1.0) and G (6.9 ± 5.1), the number of structures and viable embryos recovered were greater in G (P < 0.05). The occurrence of luteal premature regression was significantly greater in G (60%) than in G (8.3%). The use of GnRH agonist alone did not improve synchronization of follicular wave emergence. When EB was used (alone or associated) follicular wave emergence was less synchronized. The SOV protocol proposed had a similar ovarian response; however, it resulted in less transferable embryos.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.theriogenology.2017.07.036DOI Listing
November 2017

Protected fatty acid supplementation during estrus synchronization treatment on reproductive parameters of dairy goats.

Anim Sci J 2017 Feb 16;88(2):254-258. Epub 2016 Jun 16.

Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Fluminense Federal University, Niterói, RJ, Brazil.

This study evaluated the effect of the protected fatty acid inclusion during estrus synchronization on reproductive parameters. Goats (n = 32) received progestagen sponges for 6 days and 200 IU equine chorionic gonadotropin and 30 µg d-cloprostenol were given on Day 5. No difference was found among control (C), 1% protected fatty acid inclusion (C + 1%) or 4% protected fatty acid inclusion (C + 4%) groups, respectively, in estrus (100.0, 100.0 or 90.9%), estrus duration (31.6 ± 12.3; 43.2 ± 12.9 or 40.8 ± 14.1 h), animals ovulating (100.0, 90.0 or 100.0%) or ovulation rate (1.3 ± 0.5; 1.1 ± 0.3 or 1.2 ± 0.4). The interval from sponge removal to ovulation and from estrus to ovulation, respectively, were shorter for C + 4% (45.2 ± 8.0 h; 18.3 ± 11.0 h) compared with C (56.3 ± 12.6 h; 30.6 ± 10.5 h) or C + 1% (57.7 ± 8.7 h; 30.3 ± 11.1 h). The average ovulatory follicle diameter was smaller for C + 4% (6.2 ± 0.7 mm) than C (7.5 ± 0.8 mm), but similar to C + 1% (7.0 ± 1.5 mm). Insulin, insulin-like growth factor 1, glucose and progesterone concentrations were similar among groups. The inclusion of protected fatty acid during synchronization treatment promoted no benefits on ovulation rate, but 4% anticipated the ovulation time.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/asj.12640DOI Listing
February 2017

Efficiency of different hormonal treatments for estrus synchronization in tropical Santa Inês sheep.

Trop Anim Health Prod 2016 Mar 6;48(3):545-51. Epub 2016 Jan 6.

Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Fluminense Federal University, Av. Vital Brasil Filho, 64, CEP 24230-340, Niterói, RJ, Brazil.

The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of (i) the duration of hormone treatment with progestogen sponges during the seasonal anestrus and (ii) the administration of two doses of prostaglandin at 7 days apart during the breeding season on reproductive parameters of Santa Inês ewes. In experiment 1, 32 ewes received intravaginal MAP sponges for 6 (G6 days), 9 (G9 days), or 12 (G12days) days and 75 μg D-cloprostenol i.m. and 300 IU eCG i.m. 1 day before sponge removal. In experiment 2, 23 ewes received two doses of 0.48-mg sodium cloprostenol i.m. 7 days apart. Ovarian follicular dynamic was assessed through transrectal ultrasonography. Blood samples were collected daily to determine progesterone concentrations. In experiment 1, estrus and ovulation rates did not differ (P > 0.05) among protocols and between cyclic and acyclic ewes at the beginning of the experiment. The G9 days treatment showed a lower dispersion of ovulations in relation to onset of estrus when compared to G6 days and G12 days. In experiment 2, all ewes exhibit estrus and ovulated after the second dose of prostaglandin, although ewes that were in diestrus at D0 showed subluteal concentrations of progesterone during the follicle development stage of the treatment. In conclusion, the use of progestogen device during 9 days promotes lower dispersion of ovulation when compared to its use for 6 or 12 days, and the protocol of two doses of prostaglandin 7 days apart synchronizes estrus efficiently but results in follicular development under low progesterone concentrations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11250-015-0989-yDOI Listing
March 2016

Reproductive performance, metabolic and hormonal profiles of Santa Inês ewes in winter and summer under tropical conditions.

Trop Anim Health Prod 2015 Mar 18;47(3):627-31. Epub 2015 Jan 18.

Departamento de Patologia e Clínica Veterinária, Faculdade de Veterinária, Universidade Federal Fluminense, Rua Vital Brasil, 64, Santa Rosa, Niterói, Rio de Janeiro, 24320-340, Brazil,

The study aimed to evaluate the reproductive, metabolic and hormonal profiles of Santa Inês ewes during winter and summer in the tropical climate of Rio de Janeiro State, Brazil. The ewes (n = 16) were prepared for induction of synchronised oestrus with a short-term hormonal treatment, and follicular dynamics were assessed with ultrasonography. Blood samples for biochemical and hormonal analyses were collected on days zero, six and eight of the protocol at 7, 13 and 19 h. Reproductive behaviour did not differ (P > 0.05) between seasons. Based on ultrasonography data, the ovulation rate was 100% in summer and 81.3% in winter. Most of the ewes showed double ovulation in summer, and the diameter of the largest and second largest follicles differed (P < 0.05) between seasons. Among the biochemical parameters, plasma glucose, plasma urea and serum albumin differed (P < 0.05) between the study periods. Regarding the hormonal profile, higher serum triiodothyronine, thyroxine and prolactin concentrations (P < 0.05) were observed in summer. The average progesterone concentrations demonstrated low reproductive seasonality. In conclusion, the reproductive performance of the ewes was superior in summer, and higher levels of plasma glucose and serum albumin during this season may have played a role in the observed ovulation rates. The higher levels of serum prolactin and serum thyroxine in summer demonstrated that these compounds were not involved in the regulatory mechanisms underlying the onset of anoestrus in these Santa Inês ewes under tropical conditions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11250-015-0757-zDOI Listing
March 2015

Is the Santa Inês sheep a typical non-seasonal breeder in the Brazilian Southeast?

Trop Anim Health Prod 2014 Dec 25;46(8):1533-7. Epub 2014 Sep 25.

Department of Pathology and Clinical Veterinary, Veterinary School, Universidade Federal Fluminense, Vital Brasil street, no. 64, 24320-340, Niteroi, RJ, Brazil,

This study aimed to characterize the annual reproductive cycle of Santa Inês sheep in the Fluminense lowland region (latitude 22° 27' 45″ south, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) between September 2011 and August 2012. Ten ewes were maintained in a semi-intensive system under natural photoperiods with access to pasture and shelter. Blood samples were collected every 2 weeks to determine plasma progesterone concentrations. The body condition score (BCS) was determined each month. There was no seasonal variation in the plasma progesterone concentration from the months of September to January, April, and May to August. In the months of February and April, the plasma hormone levels were higher than August to November. Seventy percent (7/10) of the sheep studied had short seasonal anestrus. The periods of anestrus were concentrated between the months of September and December (spring season) in 85.7 % (6/7) of the cases evaluated. In these cases, 57.1 % (4/7) also had short periods of reproductive inactivity during other months of the year. The progesterone values obtained in the spring corroborate the higher reproductive anestrus observed in this season. Higher plasma progesterone values were found in summer and autumn with reduction in the winter to lower values in the spring. No changes in the BCS during the study period were observed. Under the studied conditions, the Santa Inês sheep showed a low degree of reproductive seasonality. However, some individual ewes had seasonal anestrus during the spring. Further studies that include management techniques are needed to improve reproductive efficiency without hormone therapy in this breed under tropical conditions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11250-014-0672-8DOI Listing
December 2014
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