Elimination of selected mastitis pathogens during the dry period


Source: Journal of Dairy Science

Anri A.E. Timonen, Jørgen Katholm, Anders Petersen, Toomas Orro, Kerli Mõtus, Piret Kalmus


We aimed to evaluate the elimination of 4 different mastitis pathogens, Streptococcus agalactiae, Mycoplasma bovis, Staphylococcus aureus, and Streptococcus uberis, from infected udder quarters during the dry period using quantitative PCR.

The second purpose of this study was to evaluate the association between milk haptoglobin (Hp) concentration and the presence of udder pathogens (Strep. agalactiae, Staph. aureus, M. bovis, and Strep. uberis) in udder quarter milk samples before and after dry period.

Aseptic udder quarter milk samples (n = 1,001) were collected from 133 dairy cows at dry off and at the first milking after calving from 1 large dairy herd. Bacterial DNA of Strep. agalactiae, Staph. aureus, Strep. uberis, and M. bovis in the udder quarter milk samples was identified with commercial quantitative PCR analysis Mastitis 4B (DNA Diagnostic A/S, Risskov, Denmark). Milk Hp concentration (mg/L) was measured from udder quarter milk samples. The elimination rates during the dry period for M. bovis, Staph. aureus, Strep. agalactiae, and Strep. uberis were 86.7, 93.6, 96.2, and 100.0%, respectively.

The new IMI rate was 3.0% for M. bovis, 2.9% for Staph. aureus, 2.4% for Strep. agalactiae, and 3.1% for Strep. uberis. The milk Hp concentration was significantly higher in udder quarter milk samples with blood and in samples positive for Strep. agalactiae at dry off and for Staph. aureus postcalving. Elevated milk Hp concentration was not associated with the presence of M. bovis in the udder quarter milk samples.

In conclusion, elimination of Staph. aureus, Strep. agalactiae, and Strep. uberisduring the dry period was high; the elimination of M. bovis from infected udder quarters was lower, but probably spontaneous. Additionally, milk Hp concentration may be used as a marker for udder inflammation when combined with the bacteriological results at dry off and postpartum.

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