To assess the impact of Leptospira interrogans serovar hardjo infection on the reproductive performance of nine dairy herds with evidence of infection, forty years' fertility data were analysed relative to the year of first diagnosis. Fifty per cent of various fertility variables had their lowest values only in the year of diagnosis. Culling rates were highest during the year of diagnosis in five of the herds, and were above 22 per cent in five of nine (55.6 per cent) of the diagnosis years considered compared with seven (22.6 per cent ) of the 31 non-diagnosis years. An assessment of the fertility status of the herds by means of a formula which incorporated the first service conception rate, the number of services per conception for cows conceiving, the calving to conception interval and the culling rate, revealed low reproductive performance during the year of diagnosis in six of the nine herds. Abortion rates were highest in four of the herds during the year of diagnosis, and these included the herds in which the fertility status was not lowest. It was concluded that L interrogans serovar hardjo affected reproduction adversely by causing both abortions and low fertility, but that the effect was temporary.
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