Immunization against gonadotropin-releasing hormone in dairy cattle: Antibody titers, ovarian function, hormonal levels, and reversibility

Balet, Lionel Jean; Janett, F.; Hüsler, Jürg; Piechotta, M.; Howard, R.; Amatayakul-Chantler, S.; Steiner, Adrian; Hirsbrunner, Gabriela (2014). Immunization against gonadotropin-releasing hormone in dairy cattle: Antibody titers, ovarian function, hormonal levels, and reversibility. Journal of dairy science, 97(4), pp. 2193-2203. American Dairy Science Association 10.3168/jds.2013-7602

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Suppression of cyclic activity in cattle is often desired in alpine farming and for feedlot cattle not intended for breeding. A cattle-specific anti-GnRH vaccination (Bopriva, Zoetis Australia Ltd., West Ryde, Australia) is approved for use in heifers and bulls in New Zealand, Australia, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Turkey, and Peru. Eleven healthy, cyclic Swiss Fleckvieh cows were included in the study and vaccinated twice with Bopriva 4wk apart. Injection site, rectal body temperature, and heart and respiratory rates were recorded before and 3d following each vaccination. Blood samples were taken weekly for progesterone and estrogen analysis and to determine GnRH antibody titer. Ovaries were examined weekly, using ultrasound to count the number of follicles and identify the presence of a corpus luteum. Thirty weeks after the first vaccination, the cows were subjected to a controlled internal drug-releasing device-based Select-Synch treatment. The GnRH antibody titers increased after the second vaccination and peaked 2wk later. Estrogen levels were not influenced by vaccination, and progesterone level decreased in 7 of 11 cows up to 3wk after the second vaccination and remained low for 10 to 15wk following the second vaccination. The number of class I follicles (diameter ≤5mm) was not influenced by vaccination, whereas the number of class II follicles (diameter 6-9mm) decreased between 7 and 16wk after the first vaccination. Class III follicles (diameter >9mm) were totally absent during this period in most cows. The median period until recurrence of class III follicles was 78d from the day of the second vaccination (95% confidence interval: 60-92d). After vaccination, all cows showed swelling and pain at the injection site, and these reactions subsided within 2wk. Body temperature and heart and respiratory rates increased after the first and second vaccinations and returned to normal values within 2d of each vaccination. The cows in our study were not observed to display estrus behavior until 30wk after the first vaccination. Therefore, a Select-Synch protocol was initiated at that time. Ten cows became pregnant after the first insemination (the remaining cow was reinseminated once until confirmed pregnancy). Bopriva induced a reliable and reversible suppression of reproductive cyclicity for more than 2mo. The best practical predictor for the length of the anestrus period was the absence of class III follicles.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


05 Veterinary Medicine > Research Foci > Veterinary Public Health / Herd Health Management
08 Faculty of Science > Department of Mathematics and Statistics > Institute of Mathematical Statistics and Actuarial Science
05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Clinical Veterinary Medicine (DKV)
05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Clinical Veterinary Medicine (DKV) > Clinic for Ruminants

UniBE Contributor:

Balet, Lionel Jean, Hüsler, Rudolf Jürg, Steiner, Adrian, Hirsbrunner, Gabriela


600 Technology > 630 Agriculture
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 360 Social problems & social services
500 Science > 510 Mathematics
500 Science > 590 Animals (Zoology)




American Dairy Science Association




Patrik Zanolari

Date Deposited:

05 Jan 2015 15:04

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 14:38

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

anestrus, anti-gonadotropin releasing hormone (anti-GnRH), antibody titer, gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH), immunization




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