Trich - Trichomonas fetus

Trichomonas fetus or Trich, is a pathogen of the bovine reproductive system which has caused significant economic losses in American cattle herds for many years.  The organism is transmitted to the female vagina and uterus from the foreskin of the bull where the parasite is known to reside. It causes infertility, and, at times, has caused spontaneous abortions in the first trimester.

Bulls infected by Trich have no symptoms. Semen quality and sexual behavior are not affected.  Mature bulls are more apt to become infected and stay infected for life. Herd diagnosis usually is made by testing the bulls.  If there is any question about the origin and health status of such bulls, they should not be used.  An infected female may lose her first pregnancy, clear the infection and return to estrus.  Abortion generally occurs 3 months into the pregnancy.  The usual evidence that a problem exists is a lower percentage of pregnant cows in the fall, or a reduced calf crop or prolonged calving season.  Trich is usually introduced into the herd by purchase of infected cows or bulls.

Last modified: 
November 25th, 2011

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