The objective of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of 3 vaccine formulations containing proteins (FimH, leukotoxin, and pyolysin), inactivated whole cells (Escherichia coli, Fusobacterium necrophorum, and Trueperella pyogenes), or both, in the prevention of postpartum uterine diseases. A randomized clinical trial was conducted at a commercial dairy farm; 800 heifers were assigned into 1 of 4 different treatment groups: control, vaccine 1 (bacterin and subunit proteins), vaccine 2 (bacterin), and vaccine 3 (recombinant subunit proteins), and each heifer received a subcutaneous injection of its respective treatment at 240 ± 3 and 270 ± 3 d of gestation. Vaccination significantly reduced the incidence of puerperal metritis when compared with control (9.1% vs. 14.9%, respectively; odds ratio 0.51). Additionally, vaccine 3 was found to reduce the incidence of puerperal metritis when compared with the control (8.0% vs. 14.9%, respectively; odds ratio 0.46). Reproduction was improved for metritic cows that were vaccinated, and the effect was stronger for cows that were treated with vaccine 3. In general, vaccination decreased the total vaginal bacterial load and decreased the vaginal load of F. necrophorum by 9 d in milk. Vaccination reduced the prevalence of puerperal metritis in the first lactation of dairy cows, leading to less metritic disease and improved reproduction.
Keywords: Fusobacterium necrophorum metritis microbiome reproduction vaccination