Intravaginal probiotics modulated metabolic status and improved milk production and composition of transition dairy cows

J Anim Sci. 2016 Feb;94(2):760-70. doi: 10.2527/jas.2015-9650.


The objective of this investigation was to evaluate whether intravaginal infusion of probiotics (a lactic acid bacteria cocktail) around parturition would influence metabolic status and increase milk production of transition dairy cows. One hundred pregnant Holstein dairy cows were assigned to 1 of the 3 experimental groups receiving intravaginal infusion of probiotics or carrier (i.e., sterile skim milk) once a week at wk -2, -1, and +1 relative to calving as follows: 2 consecutive probiotics before parturition and 1 carrier dose after parturition (TRT1), 3 consecutive probiotics doses around parturition (TRT2), and 3 consecutive carrier doses around parturition (CTR). The probiotics were a lyophilized culture mixture composed of FUA3089 and FUA3138 and FUA3140 with a cell count of 10 to 10 cfu/dose. Blood was sampled from wk -2 to +3 and milk was sampled on the third day in milk (DIM) and from wk +1 to +5 on a weekly basis. Feed intake and milk production was monitored until wk +8. Results showed that the TRT2 group (366.12 ± 49.77 μmol/L) had a lower ( = 0.01) concentration of NEFA in the serum than the CTR group (550.85 ± 47.16 μmol/L). The concentrations of IgG in the milk were 32.71 ± 3.00 mg/mL in the TRT1 group, 17.47 ± 4.54 mg/mL in the TRT2 group, and 6.73 ± 3.43 mg/mL in the CTR group at 3 DIM ( < 0.01). Meanwhile, both the TRT1 and the TRT2 group had lower haptoglobin in the milk compared with the CTR group at 3 DIM ( < 0.01). The TRT1 group had greater milk protein content than the CTR group (2.99 ± 0.04 vs. 2.82 ± 0.04%; = 0.02), whereas the TRT2 group tended to have greater lactose content compared with the CTR group (4.53 ± 0.03 vs. 4.44 ± 0.03%; = 0.05). The effect of treatment interacted with parity with regards to milk production and feed efficiency. Multiparous cows in the TRT1 and TRT2 groups had greater milk production and feed efficiency than those in the CTR group ( < 0.01 and = 0.02, respectively). Among primiparous cows, those in the TRT2 group had greater milk production ( = 0.04) whereas those in the TRT1 group had lower feed intake ( < 0.01) than those in the CTR group. Both the TRT1 and the TRT2 groups had enhanced feed efficiency compared with the CTR group ( < 0.01). In conclusion, intravaginal infusion of lactic acid bacteria modulated concentrations of selected serum metabolites and milk components and increased milk efficiency of transition dairy cows.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Intravaginal
  • Animals
  • Cattle*
  • Female
  • Lactation / physiology*
  • Lactobacillaceae / physiology*
  • Milk / chemistry*
  • Milk Proteins / chemistry
  • Parity
  • Parturition
  • Pregnancy
  • Probiotics / administration & dosage
  • Probiotics / pharmacology*


  • Milk Proteins