Unconventional effects of anti-microbial agents in bovine reproduction

  • Mariagrazia Piccinno
  • Edoardo Lillo
  • Annalisa Rizzo
  • Raffaele Luigi Sciorsci Department of Veterinary Medicine
Keywords: Antibiotics; anti-inflammatory; cow; immunomodulatory; muscle contractility


This review discusses the unconventional properties of some anti-microbial agents, with a particular focus on those administered in dairy cattle reproduction.

Several antibiotics also possess inherent anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory properties and could act synergistically with other anti-inflammatory drugs. Moreover, some drugs (such as cephalosporin and enrofloxacin) stimulate smooth muscle contractility while others (such as tetracyclines and streptomycin) do not inhibit it. The choice of antibiotics that may be used during pregnancy should also take into account the aforementioned unconventional properties and, therefore, favor the active principles that reduce uterine contractility and promote immune quiescence (such as amoxicillin, erythromycin, clarithromycin, gentamicin, rifaximin).

Understanding these unconventional properties is mandatory to improve the use of antibiotics in a manner that is advantageous to both human and animal health and to enhance their beneficial effects.