Wellness Trait Field Study Demonstrates Effectiveness of Clarifide® Plus
Peer-reviewed, multiherd study validates the effectiveness
of wellness traits to predict disease incidence in dairy cattle
PARSIPPANY, N.J., Sept. 11, 2017 — Dairy producers can confidently use Clarifide® Plus to better manage disease and improve herd profitability. First-year results from the Wellness Trait Field Study conducted by Zoetis and published online in the Journal of Dairy Science (published in press Aug. 30, 2017), demonstrate an association between direct genomic predictions for wellness traits from Clarifide Plus and associated disease outcomes.
Accurately predicting animals that have higher risk of disease is crucial to helping identify which animals will be more or less likely to be profitable genetically. The Dairy Wellness Profit Index® (DWP$®) can help determine which animals can be raised more efficiently to minimize labor and treatment costs and maximize profitability for the next generation. DWP$ includes mastitis and all other wellness traits, as well as production, reproduction and other economically important traits in the index.
First-year disease incidence results
Wellness trait STAs were used to rank and assign cows to percentile groups within herd and age groups: worst 25%, 26%-50%, 51%-75% and best 25%. First-year results from the Wellness Trait Field Study demonstrated the risks for six common lactating cow diseases, including mastitis, lameness, metritis, retained placenta, displaced abomasum and ketosis, were approximately two times greater in the worst 25% of animals compared with the best 25% of animals, with a range of 1.6 to 17 greater odds ratios.1 Cows in the best 25% based on their respective genetic trait herd rankings had 47% fewer cases of mastitis, 33% fewer cases of lameness, 45% fewer cases of metritis, 64% fewer retained placentas, 94% fewer displaced abomasums and 53% fewer cases of ketosis than cows in the worst 25%.1
Mastitis incidence and implications
Among these diseases, mastitis represents a very interesting case study given the significant impact it has on the industry. These results effectively mean that those cows in the best 25% need half as many mastitis tubes, half as much discarded milk, half the number of days in the hospital pen, half the time taking care of the cow and half the amount of losses in milk or animals as those in the worst 25%.1,*
The importance of evaluating wellness traits
Marti explained that it’s important for producers to evaluate any new genetic trait through the lens of relevancy, accuracy and proven effectiveness.
- Relevant — Is the data used in the calculations from the same population of animals we are applying it to? In other words, does the data come from U.S. commercial dairies like mine? Also, are the traits economically important and do they add new information? Are they utilized in a comprehensive animal ranking index aimed at maximizing profitability?
- Accurate — Is the data derived from millions of records, edited for more accurate results and higher heritability and analyzed with cutting-edge methodology to achieve solid reliability?
- Proven — Are the methods transparent, supported by science and demonstrated effective?
About Clarifide® Plus
In response to industry needs for genetic improvement of Dairy Wellness traits, Zoetis launched Clarifide® Plus, the first commercially available, U.S.-based genomic test that provides reliable genetic assessments at an early age, in March 2016. Developed to help producers select, manage and reduce risk for costly health events, Clarifide Plus includes genomic predictions for wellness traits that provide direct indication of the genetic risk factors for six of the most common and costly animal health challenges on dairies.
For more information about the Wellness Trait Field Study or genomic testing with Clarifide Plus, check out an educational video on the Zoetis Genetics YouTube channel or contact your Zoetis representative. The Zoetis Genetics YouTube channel includes other helpful resources, including videos highlighting customers’ experience using Clarifide Plus.
Zoetis is the leading animal health company, dedicated to supporting its customers and their businesses. Building on more than 60 years of experience in animal health, Zoetis discovers, develops, manufactures and markets veterinary vaccines and medicines, complemented by diagnostic products, genetic tests, biodevices and a range of services. Zoetis serves veterinarians, livestock producers and people who raise and care for farm and companion animals with sales of its products in more than 100 countries. In 2016, the company generated annual revenue of $4.9 billion with approximately 9,000 employees. For more information, visit www.zoetisUS.com.