A novel method for the diagnosis of bacterial contamination in the anterior vagina of sows based on measurement of biogenic amines by ion mobility spectrometry: A field trialTheriogenology


S. Marcus, A. Menda, L. Shore, G. Cohen, E. Atweh, N. Friedman, Z. Karpas
Equine / Food Animals / Small Animals / Animal Science and Zoology


A of a me rom

S ena, 3QBD Ltd, 8 Haplada Street, Arad, Israel b Lahav Research Institute, Kibbutz Lahav, Israel c

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Available online at www.sciencedirect.com 12) 75 009 http“Kimron” Veterinary Institute, Bet-Dagan, Israel

Received 2 February 2012; received in revised form 12 March 2012; accepted 19 March 2012 stract

To determine if postpartum subclinical infection occurs in sows, a novel device was used to diagnose such bacterial tamination of the vagina. The device was based on the measurement of biogenic amines by ion mobility spectrometry (IMS). e device is portable and results are obtained within 1 min. Vaginal swabs were taken from 449 sows before first-estrus emination and 133 (29.6%) had elevated biogenic amines and were considered positives. Sixty-one percent of the sows became gnant following post-weaning first estrus insemination. Positive scores had no apparent effect on fertility rate which was 64%. the sows that became pregnant, 197 (69.1%) were diagnosed as “negative” and 88 (30.9%) were “positive”, of which 37 eived treatment with antibiotics and were termed “positive treated”. The average live-born piglets litter size of the “positives” s 10.02 which was significantly lower (P  0.031) than the “negative” sows (11.06) while “positive treated” sow average litter e was close to the “negative” (10.56). In conclusion, it was demonstrated that subclinical anterior-vaginal bacterial contamiion in lactating sows about 2 wks postpartum is a condition that affects sow litter number and could be determined by the asurement of vaginal biogenic amines with IMS. 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. words: Subclinical vaginal infection; Bacterial contamination; Sows; Fertility; Biogenic amines; Ion mobility spectrometry


The presence of vaginal discharge for periods longer n 6 days after farrowing in sows is regarded as genital infection. This condition can affect up to % of the sows in a group [1] and is attributed to the t that the urogenital system has not completely rened to its normal state. The discharges may contain eral types of bacteria that appear to colonize the physiologically disturbed vagina and uterus and cause inflammation in the walls of the vagina [2]. Sows displaying vaginal discharge will have lower fertility [3] and are usually treated with antibiotics. Subclinical genital infection is a condition where the animal does not display any obvious clinical symptoms (rise in body temperature, loss of appetite, drop in milk secretion, etc.) but fertility and reproduction are nonetheless affected. Such subclinical metritis has been described for pregnant sows [4].novel method for the diagnosis nterior vagina of sows based on by ion mobility spect . Marcusa, A. Mendab, L. Shorec, G. Coh a

Theriogenology 78 (20sw

Corresponding author. Tel.: 972 50 623140.

E-mail address: karpas4@netvision.net.il (Z. Karpas). 3-691X/$ – see front matter © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. ://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.theriogenology.2012.03.022bacterial contamination in the asurement of biogenic amines etry: A field trial

E. Atweha, N. Friedmana, Z. Karpasa,* 3–758 www.theriojournal.comThe presence of elevated biogenic amines in vaginal ab samples in women with bacterial vaginosis (BV) is bio lev tra am mo (IM ete sur to the inf cli po co we he of thi ser to 2. 2.1 a c ing rin

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LR the da ina 44 ins firs gro “p “S ve be “p sec 1 t mo gro sow 754 S. Marcus et al. / Theriogenology 78 (2012) 753–758well documented [5–9]. The presence of elevated genic amines in BV in women is the result of high els of anaerobic bacteria which produce high concentions of trimethylamine (TMA). These biogenic ines, in particular TMA, are readily detected by ion bility spectrometry (ion mobility spectrometry

S) [6–7]). A device (V-Test ion mobility spectromr, 3QBD Ltd.) has therefore been developed to meae the level of biogenic amines in vaginal discharge confirm the existence of BV [10].

The purpose of the present paper was to determine if

V-Test could be used in sows to indicate vaginal ection and to decide if such determinations were of nical use. We surveyed a herd which we divided into sitive (elevated biogenic amines, putative bacterial ntamination) and negative groups. The positive sows re considered to have a subclinical infection as only althy nursing sows were included in the study. Some the positive sows were treated with antibiotics and s group was termed “positive treated”. We then obved if there was a difference between the groups as pregnancy rate and live-born litter size.

Materials and methods . Instrument description and calibration

An IMS (V-Test, 3QBD, Ltd, Israel) equipped with orona discharge ion source and a drift tube consistof a stack of alternating conducting and insulating gs was operated at a temperature of 90 °C [10]. bient air, purified by passing through an activated arcoal filter, served as the drift gas and carrier gas eam. Triethylphosphate (TEP) was used as a dopant prevent interference from compounds with low proaffinity and yet allow the biogenic amines to be tected. Swab samples were inserted into a plastic using and after adding a drop of an alkaline solution % KOH) the housing was placed in the sample roduction block. An air stream with the dopant card the vapors emanating from sample into the ionizan region of the drift tube. The emission of vapors s enhanced by turning on a halogen lamp that heated swab. The biogenic amines that enter the drift tube ionized and then transported under the influence of electric field to the drift region where ions are arated according to their mobility (drift velocity) til they reach a detector where the ion current is orded.

Calibration was carried out by placing a known ount of trimethylamine (TMA) on the tip of a swabd measuring the signal intensity of TMA. By chang- grothe concentration of the TMA solution a calibration rve was prepared. Validation of the calibration was tained by running samples of water from canned tuna t contains considerable levels of TMA [10] that ulated a biological matrix. Samples that contained er 2 g of TMA were considered positive. . Sample collection and study population .1. Sows 5 to 6 days postpartum