Mastitis Causing Bacteria

Disease causing bacteria are often referred to as pathogens. The most common mastitis pathogens are found either in the udder (contagious pathogens) or the cow’s surroundings (environmental pathogens), such as bedding, manure, soil, etc. Contagious mastitis pathogens (Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus agalactiae) are spread from infected udders to “clean” udders during the milking process through contaminated teat cup liners, milkmen’s hands, paper or cloth towels used to wash or dry more than one cow, and possibly by flies.

Although new infections by environmental pathogens (other streptococci such as Str. uberis and Str. dysgalactiae and coliforms such as Escherichia coli and Klebsiella) can occur during milking, primary exposure appears to be between milkings. Coliform infections are usually associated with an unsanitary environment (manure and/or dirty, wet conditions), while Klebsiella are found in sawdust that contains bark or soil.

Approximately 70-80% of coliform infections become clinical (abnormal milk, udder swelling, or systemic symptoms that include swollen quarters, watery milk, high fever, depressed appetitie or elevated body temperature). Environmental pathogens are often responsible for most of the clinical cases.

Subclinical infections are those in which no visible changes occur in the appearance of the milk or the udder, but milk production decreases, bacteria are present in the secretion, and composition is altered.

Mastitis Causing Bacteria

Disease causing bacteria are often referred to as pathogens. The most common mastitis pathogens are found either in the udder (con- tagious pathogens) or the cow’s surroundings (environmental pathogens), such as bedding, manure, soil, etc.Read more →

After effects of mastitis on milk

Mastitis resulting from major presence of pathogens causes considerable compositional changes in milk. The types of proteins present change dramatically. Casein, the major milk protein of high nutritional quality, declines and lower quality whey proteins increase which adversely impacts dairy product quality, such as cheese yield, flavour and quality.Read more →

Consequences of Mastitis

Mastitis treatment and control is one of the largest costs to the dairy industry and is also a significant factor in dairy cow welfare. Losses arise from reduction in yields due to illness and any permanent damage to udder tissue, Read more →

Treatment and Control

Typically when clinical mastitis is detected, the cow is milked out and then given an intra-mammary infusion of antibiotic, i.e. infused directly into the infected gland. Prior to intra-mammary infusion, the teat is cleaned well and the tip of the teat is swabbed with an alcohol swab and allowed to dry for a number of seconds.Read more →

Somatic Cell Count

Somatic cell count (SCC) is the number of somatic cells found in a millilitre of milk. Somatic cells (or “body” cells) are a mixture of milk-producing cells shed from the udder tissue (about 2%) and cells from the immune system (the other 98%), known as leukocytes (also called white blood cells).Read more →