Abstract: Chances of mammary infections are comparatively higher in high producing cows during harsh environmental conditions and are usually characterised by changes occurring in various somatic cells secreted in the milk and their activities. The present study was conducted to record diurnal rhythmicity in milk somatic cell counts (SCC), neutrophil: macrophage (N: M) ratio, phagocytic activity (PA) of milk neutrophils and plasma cortisol concentrations during different seasons and parity in high producing Karan Fries cows. Values of milk SCC, N: M ratio and plasma cortisol levels were lowest during thermoneutral (TN), intermediate in winter and highest during the summer season. Diurnal rhythm in the milk SCC and N: M ratio was noticed in the summer while plasma cortisol exhibited diurnal rhythm in both winter and summer seasons. Milk SCC, N: M ratio and plasma cortisol increased in multiparous cows, but diurnal variation was noticed only in the N: M ratio and plasma cortisol in cows having more than four parity. Phagocytic activity of milk neutrophils was highest during TN, intermediate in winter and lowest during the summer season. Phagocytic activity was higher and similar in cows up to fourth parity but decreased in subsequent lactation cycles. Diurnal rhythm in the PA was noticed in winter and summer seasons and in cows having more than four parity where morning samples showed higher phagocytosis as compared to the evening samples. These results can be used for immunomodulatory interventions and therapeutic approaches in treating mastitis of crossbred cows reared under tropical conditions.
Keywords: Milk somatic cell; neutrophil: macrophage ratio; season; parity; cow;
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