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Short communication : Weak associations between mastitis control measures and bulk milk somatic cell counts in Swedish dairy herds

Emanuelson, U. and Nielsen, C. LU (2017) In Journal of Dairy Science 100(8). p.6572-6576
Abstract

Despite the fact that control programs have been available for several decades, mastitis remains an important problem in dairy herds around the world. Possible reasons for this include poor uptake and application of recommended mastitis control measures; poor or variable compliance; or variability in the effects of these measures. The objective of this study was to evaluate the associations between implemented mastitis control measures and bulk milk somatic cell count (BMSCC) in Swedish dairy herds. Data for this study were collected primarily from an extensive self-administered postal questionnaire about the herds, the people responsible for udder health, and details of udder health and mastitis management. A total of 898... (More)

Despite the fact that control programs have been available for several decades, mastitis remains an important problem in dairy herds around the world. Possible reasons for this include poor uptake and application of recommended mastitis control measures; poor or variable compliance; or variability in the effects of these measures. The objective of this study was to evaluate the associations between implemented mastitis control measures and bulk milk somatic cell count (BMSCC) in Swedish dairy herds. Data for this study were collected primarily from an extensive self-administered postal questionnaire about the herds, the people responsible for udder health, and details of udder health and mastitis management. A total of 898 questionnaires were distributed, and 428 questionnaires were returned (overall response rate of 48%), but we used the information from only 395 herds in this study. For all herds, we collected data on herd size and geometric average calculated BMSCC from the Swedish Official Milk Recording Scheme. We used logistic regression to assess the association between mastitis control measures and BMSCC, dichotomized as low (<200,000 cells/mL) or high (>200,000 cells/mL). We investigated 21 measures that have been suggested for mastitis control, but found only 2 to be associated with udder health as measured by BMSCC. Not providing dry cows with a specialized mineral feed was significantly associated with increased risk of high BMSCC, and not using post-milking teat disinfectant tended to be associated with increased risk. The lack of association for all other measures was not likely due to low power (because most of these measures had variable implementation rates) but could be due to the relatively narrow range of BMSCC in our study (range 61,000-524,000 cells/mL). However, our results agreed well with those of other recent studies, supporting the call for a thorough review of the current knowledge of mastitis control and for wider application of intervention studies to verify the actual effects of suggested control measures.

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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Bulk milk somatic cell count, Dairy cow, Management
in
Journal of Dairy Science
volume
100
issue
8
pages
6572 - 6576
publisher
American Dairy Science Association
external identifiers
  • scopus:85020287373
  • wos:000405647100050
ISSN
0022-0302
DOI
10.3168/jds.2016-12384
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
81b61ddb-f826-489f-a6d8-12b777e6966f
date added to LUP
2017-07-03 09:48:37
date last changed
2018-03-04 05:03:30
@article{81b61ddb-f826-489f-a6d8-12b777e6966f,
  abstract     = {<p>Despite the fact that control programs have been available for several decades, mastitis remains an important problem in dairy herds around the world. Possible reasons for this include poor uptake and application of recommended mastitis control measures; poor or variable compliance; or variability in the effects of these measures. The objective of this study was to evaluate the associations between implemented mastitis control measures and bulk milk somatic cell count (BMSCC) in Swedish dairy herds. Data for this study were collected primarily from an extensive self-administered postal questionnaire about the herds, the people responsible for udder health, and details of udder health and mastitis management. A total of 898 questionnaires were distributed, and 428 questionnaires were returned (overall response rate of 48%), but we used the information from only 395 herds in this study. For all herds, we collected data on herd size and geometric average calculated BMSCC from the Swedish Official Milk Recording Scheme. We used logistic regression to assess the association between mastitis control measures and BMSCC, dichotomized as low (&lt;200,000 cells/mL) or high (&gt;200,000 cells/mL). We investigated 21 measures that have been suggested for mastitis control, but found only 2 to be associated with udder health as measured by BMSCC. Not providing dry cows with a specialized mineral feed was significantly associated with increased risk of high BMSCC, and not using post-milking teat disinfectant tended to be associated with increased risk. The lack of association for all other measures was not likely due to low power (because most of these measures had variable implementation rates) but could be due to the relatively narrow range of BMSCC in our study (range 61,000-524,000 cells/mL). However, our results agreed well with those of other recent studies, supporting the call for a thorough review of the current knowledge of mastitis control and for wider application of intervention studies to verify the actual effects of suggested control measures.</p>},
  author       = {Emanuelson, U. and Nielsen, C.},
  issn         = {0022-0302},
  keyword      = {Bulk milk somatic cell count,Dairy cow,Management},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {06},
  number       = {8},
  pages        = {6572--6576},
  publisher    = {American Dairy Science Association},
  series       = {Journal of Dairy Science},
  title        = {Short communication : Weak associations between mastitis control measures and bulk milk somatic cell counts in Swedish dairy herds},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.3168/jds.2016-12384},
  volume       = {100},
  year         = {2017},
}