Dynamics of uterine microbiota in postpartum dairy cows with clinical or subclinical endometritis

Sci Rep. 2020 Jul 23;10(1):12353. doi: 10.1038/s41598-020-69317-z.


Our objectives were to describe and compare the uterine bacterial composition of postpartum Holstein cows diagnosed as healthy (n = 8), subclinical endometritis (SCE; n = 8), or clinical endometritis (CE; n = 5) in the fifth week postpartum. We did metagenomic analyses of 16S rRNA gene sequences from endometrial cytobrush samples at 10, 21, and 35 days in milk (DIM), and endometrial bacterial culture at 35 DIM. Uterine bacterial composition in healthy, SCE, and CE was stable at 10, 21, and 35 DIM. Alpha and beta diversities showed a different uterine microbiome from CE compared to healthy or SCE, but no differences were found between healthy and SCE cows. At the phylum level, the relative abundance of Bacteroidetes and Fusobacteria, and at genera level, of Trueperella was greater in CE than healthy or SCE cows. Trueperella pyogenes was the predominant bacteria cultured in cows with CE, and a wide variety of bacterial growth was found in healthy and SCE cows. Bacteria that grew in culture were represented within the most abundant bacterial genera based on metagenomic sequencing. The uterine microbiota was similar between SCE and healthy, but the microbiome in cows with CE had a loss of bacterial diversity.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bacteria* / classification
  • Bacteria* / genetics
  • Bacteria* / growth & development
  • Cattle
  • Cattle Diseases / genetics
  • Cattle Diseases / microbiology*
  • Cattle Diseases / pathology
  • Endometritis / genetics
  • Endometritis / microbiology*
  • Endometritis / pathology
  • Endometritis / veterinary
  • Female
  • Microbiota*