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Anim Biosci > Accepted Articles
DOI: https://doi.org/10.5713/ajas.20.0565    [Accepted] Published online November 3, 2020.
Relationships among bedding materials, bedding bacterial composition and lameness in dairy cows
Han Li1  , Xiangming Wang1  , Yan Wu1  , Dingran Zhang1  , Hongyang Xu1  , Hongrun Xu1  , Xiaoguang Xing1  , Zhili Qi1,* 
Department of Animal Nutrition and Feed Science, College of Animal Science and Technology, Huazhong Agricultural University, 430070 Wuhan, China
Correspondence:  Zhili Qi, Tel: +86-13296621998, Fax: 027-87280408, Email: zhiliqi@mail.hzau.edu.cn
Received: 11 August 2020   • Revised: 24 September 2020   • Accepted: 27 October 2020
Abstract
Objective
Bedding materials directly contact hooves of dairy cows and they may serve as environmental sources of lameness-associated pathogen. However, the specific composition of bacteria hidden in bedding materials is still not clear. The aim of this study was to determine the effect bedding material and its bacterial composition has on lameness of Holstein heifers.
Methods
Forty-eight Holstein heifers with similar body weights were randomly assigned into three groups including sand bedding (SB), concrete floor (CF), and compost bedding (CB). Hock injuries severity and gait performance of dairy cows were scored individually once a week. Blood samples were collected at the end of the experiment and bedding material samples were collected once a week for Illumina sequencing.
Results
The CF increased visible hock injuries severity and serum biomarkers of joint damage in comparison to SB and CB groups. Besides, Illumina sequencing and analysis showed that the bacterial community of CB samples had higher similarity to that of SB samples than CF samples. Bacteria in three bedding materials were dominated by gastrointestinal bacteria and organic matter-degrading bacteria, such as Actinobacteria, Firmicutes and norank JG30-KF-cM45. Lameness-associated Spirochaetaceae and Treponeme were only detected in SB and CB samples with a very low relative abundance (0~0.08%).
Conclusion
The bacterial communities differed among bedding materials. However, the treponemes pathogens involved in the pathogenesis of lameness may not be a part of microbiota in bedding materials of dairy cows.
Keywords: Bedding Material; Bacterial Composition; Lameness; Dairy Cows


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