ClosedAgriculture & Agri-food

Identification of biomarkers associated with the onset and progression of major metabolic and infectious diseases of transition dairy cows

PROJECT LEAD(S)/CO-LEAD(S) Burim Ametaj & David Wishart (University of Alberta)
COMPETITION/ FUNDING OPPORTUNITY Genome Alberta - Alberta Livestock Genomics Program (ALGP)
PROJECT START DATE January 1, 2011
PROJECT END DATE September 30, 2014

The overall goal of this research proposal is to identify molecular biomarkers that are associated with the early prediction, diagnosis, and monitoring of major metabolic and infectious diseases of dairy cattle. Dairy cows are commonly afflicted with a variety of debilitating conditions such as mastitis (udder infection), metritis (uterine infection), laminitis, infertility, ketosis, milk fever, downer cow syndrome, and displaced abomasum. These diseases are often difficult to detect by conventional methods and by the time they are detected it is often too late. For this project, the team will use quantitative Mass Spectrometry and Nuclear Magnetic Resonance-based metabolomics techniques to detect potentially predictive or diagnostic metabolites in dairy cows. To complement this metabolomic work the team will also use quantitative immunoassays to identify potentially predictive or diagnostic protein biomarkers associated with these diseases. If the biomarkers identified through this research can be validated, it may be possible to develop rapid, inexpensive tests that could be used by dairy farmers or veterinarians to screen cow herds for these conditions. The development of effective, early-diagnostic tests could save the dairy industry $100ʼs of millions a year.

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