CNS mastitis: nothing to worry about?

Schukken, Y.H., González, R.N., Tikofsky, L.L., Schulte, H.F., Santisteban, C.G., Welcome, F.L., Bennett, G.J., Zurakowski, M.J. and Zadoks, R.N. (2009) CNS mastitis: nothing to worry about? Veterinary Microbiology, 134(1-2), pp. 9-14. (doi: 10.1016/j.vetmic.2008.09.014)

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In this paper, we analyzed a very large field data set on intramammary infections (IMI) and the associated somatic cell count (SCC) in dairy cows. The objective of the study was to analyze the impact of coagulase-negative staphylococci (CNS) IMI on cow SCC, both mean and variability, and on the potential of these infections to have a major impact on the bulk milk SCC (BMSCC). Data and milk samples for bacterial culture were collected by Quality Milk Production Services (QMPS) between 1992 and March of 2007. The QMPS program services dairy farms in New York State and other states in the Northeastern USA and operates in conjunction with Cornell University. Only records from cows where SCC and milk production data were available, and where only one organism was isolated from bacterial cultures of milk samples (or where culture was negative) were used for this analysis. A total of 352,614 records from 4200 whole herd mastitis screening sampling qualified for this study. Within herds an average of 15% (S.D. 12%) of cows sampled were infected with CNS, ranging between 0 and 100%. Average within herd prevalence of cows with a CNS IMI and an SCC over 200,000 cells/ml was 2% (S.D. 4%) with a minimum of 0% and a maximum of 50%. Results of linear mixed models showed three distinct populations of IMI statuses: negative cultures with the lowest SCC; CNS and Corynebacterium bovis with a moderate increase in SCC, and Streptococcus agalactiae, Streptococcus spp. and Staphylococcus aureus showing an important increase in SCC. Surprisingly, milk production was slightly but significantly higher in CNS infected cows compared to culture-negative cows, whereas it was strongly reduced in cows with a major pathogen IMI. The percentage contribution of CNS infections to the BMSCC was 17.9% in herds with a BMSCC less than 200,000 cells/ml. This value decreased to 11.9 and 7.9% in herds with bulk milk SCC between 200,000 and 400,000 and over 400,000 cells/ml, respectively. We concluded that very few herds with milk quality problems would have an important increase in BMSCC that could be mostly attributed to CNS infections. On the other hand, in herds with low BMSCC, CNS infections may be an important contributor to the total number of somatic cells in the bulk milk.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Zadoks, Professor Ruth
Authors: Schukken, Y.H., González, R.N., Tikofsky, L.L., Schulte, H.F., Santisteban, C.G., Welcome, F.L., Bennett, G.J., Zurakowski, M.J., and Zadoks, R.N.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Biodiversity, One Health & Veterinary Medicine
Journal Name:Veterinary Microbiology

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