Effect of hot season on blood parameters, fecal fermentative parameters, and occurrence of Clostridium tyrobutyricum spores in feces of lactating dairy cows

Luigi Calamari, P. Morera, Paolo Bani, Andrea Minuti, L. Basiricò, A. Vitali, Andrea Vitali, U. Bernabucci, Umberto Bernabucci

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in rivistaArticolo in rivista

6 Citazioni (Scopus)


High temperature influences rumen and gut health, passage rate, and diet digestibility, with effects on fermentative processes. The main aim of the study was to investigate the effect of hot season on hindgut fermentation, the occurrence of Clostridium tyrobutyricum spores in bovine feces, and on their relationship with metabolic conditions in dairy cows producing milk used for Grana Padano cheese. The study was carried out on 7 dairy farms located in the Po Valley (Italy), involving 1,950 Italian Friesian dairy cows. The study was carried out from November 2013 till the end of July 2014. Temperature and relative humidity were recorded daily by weather stations. Constant management conditions were maintained during the experimental period. Feed and diet characteristics, metabolic conditions, and fecal characteristics were recorded in winter (from late November 2013 to the end of January 2014), spring (from April to May 2014), and summer (July 2014) season. In each season, blood samples were collected from 14 multiparous lactating dairy cows per herd to measure biochemical indices related to energy, protein, and mineral metabolism, as well as markers of inflammation and some enzyme activities. Fecal samples were also collected and measurements of moisture, pH and volatile fatty acids (VFA) were performed. The DNA extracted and purified from fecal samples was used to detect Clostridium tyrobutyricum spores in a quantitative real-time PCR assay. The daily mean temperature-humidity index was 40.7 ± 4.6 (range 25 to 55), 61.2 ± 3.7 (range 39 to 77), and 70.8 ± 3.2 (range 54 to 83) in winter, spring, and summer, respectively. Total VFA concentration in feces progressively decreased from winter to summer. The seasonal changes of acetate and propionate followed the same trend of total VFA; conversely, butyrate did not show any difference between seasons, and its molar proportion was greater in summer compared with winter. A greater occurrence of Cl. tyrobutyricum spores in summer compared with the other seasons was observed. The plasma concentrations of glucose, urea, albumin, Ca, Mg, Cl, Zn, and alkaline phosphatase activity were lower in summer compared with winter, whereas the opposite occurred for bilirubin and Na. Our results show that summer season, through direct and indirect effect of heat stress, affected fecal fermentative parameters and hindgut buffering capacity, and was responsible for the increasing occurrence of Cl. tyrobutyricum spores in feces.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)4437-4447
Numero di pagine11
RivistaJournal of Dairy Science
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2018


  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Clostridium tyrobutyricum
  • Food Science
  • Genetics
  • dairy cows
  • heat stress
  • metabolic conditions


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