New research conducted by scientists at Cornell University and the University of Cambridge in Cambridge, United Kingdom, along with industry colleagues in Israel, found that the timing and type of clinical cases are critical for conception. The research was published in the April Journal of Dairy Science.

Clinical mastitis, regardless of type, occurring 15 or more days before or 36 or more days after an AI was not associated with the probability of conception, they note. However, from 14 days before until 35 days after an AI, the effect of clinical mastitis on probability of conception varied with both type and timing of the clinical mastitis case. Generally, the clinical mastitis-effect was more pronounced if it occurred around the time of AI and when the mastitis-causing agent was gram-negative.

“Our finding that clinical mastitis (especially gram-negative clinical mastitis) occurring immediately after an AI was associated with a very low probability of conception suggests that clinical mastitis may also be interfering with oocyte fertilization or embryonic development,” the researchers say.