Cow Infections Could Provide Clue to Preventing Infertility in Women

Published: Oct 26, 2007

Researchers at the Royal Veterinary College, London, have made a significant breakthrough in their understanding of how infection of the uterus damages fertility in cows. Their findings, which show that common uterine infections can damage the ovaries, may provide insights into how to treat infections such as Chlamydia in humans. Funded by the Wellcome Trust and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, researchers led by Professor Martin Sheldon studied the effect that uterine disease has on the reproductive system in cows. Their findings, published today in the journal Reproduction, suggest that the cow's innate immune system may affect key stages in the reproductive cycle, including suppressing the release of the female sex hormone oestrogen and causing failure to ovulate.

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