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FAQs

Find out more about how Mastatest® works in our FAQs.

Frequently asked questions

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Why choose Mastatest?

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Mastatest is an on-farm mastitis diagnostic tool that is easy to use and helps you make informed mastitis management decisions.

By automating the diagnostic process, the Mastatest system takes away all the hassle of milk testing. There is no need for transport, plating, or interpretation, and results are sent directly to your inbox within 24 hours.

Mastatest ensures you have all the information you need to make confident decisions for each cow. Results tell you whether bacteria are present or not, what species of bacteria are present, and what their sensitivity to commonly used antibiotics is.

With these comprehensive results provided for each cow tested, you can identify those cows that do not need antibiotic treatment and improve first-time cure rates for those that do. This reduces cows' time out of the herd and the amount of discarded milk. The historical data on individual cows and the herd overall also enables better-informed decisions on herd management.

Can I use Mastatest for cows with clinical mastitis?

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Yes, Mastatest can be used for testing samples from cows with clinical mastitis, as well as samples from cows with high somatic cell counts (subclinical mastitis).

Use clinical cartridge for clinical mastitis cases. After taking a milk sample from the affected cow, simply fill the clinical cartridge, place it in the Lapbox™, and start the test.

In less than 24 hours, you’ll have information back on whether there are bacteria present in the sample, which type (E. coli, Klebsiella, Streptococcus uberis, Streptococcus dysgalactiae, Streptococcus species, Staphylococcus aureus, Coagulase Negative Staphylococcus (non-aureus Staphylococcus) and Other Gram positive bacteria, and how sensitive the bacteria are to different antibiotics. The selection of antibiotics is country-specific and will include three antibiotics such as benzylpenicillin, cloxacillin, cefapirin, tylosin, marbofloxacin among others.

By routinely testing cows with clinical mastitis, you ensure you have all the information you need to inform your mastitis management. Mastatest can identify those cows that do not require antibiotic use and support your choice of antibiotics for those that do. Ultimately this should lead to improved cure rates, less time out of the herd for affected cows, and better milk productivity.

Can I use Mastatest for cows with high somatic cell counts (subclinical mastitis)?

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Yes, Mastatest can be used for testing samples from cows with high somatic cell counts (subclinical mastitis), as well as testing clinical mastitis samples.

Use the HiSCC cartridge for high somatic cell count cows (subclinical mastitis). After taking a milk sample from the affected cow, simply fill the HiSCC cartridge, place it in the Lapbox™, and start the test. In less than 24 hours, you will have information on the bacterial species (Staphylococcus aureus, Coagulase Negative Staphylococcus (non-aureus Staphylococcus), Other Gram positive bacteria and Gram negative bacteria). Antibiotic sensitivity is not tested in this cartridge.

By routinely testing cows with a high somatic cell count and proactively managing them, you can improve the herd's health overall, reduce the bulk milk somatic cell counts, and improve your milk quality and productivity.

How does Mastatest work?

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Mastatest uses an electronic eye technology to automatically detect color changes caused by bacterial species in the milk sample.

All you need to do is collect a milk sample, fill a cartridge, and initiate the test. The Lapbox™ does the rest.

Data collected by the Lapbox is automatically analyzed and interpreted in the cloud, and results are reported back to your inbox within 24 hours.

How long will it take to get results back?

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The Mastatest system provides digital results back to your inbox within 24 hours of starting a test on the Lapbox™.

How do I get Mastatest results?

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There are two easy ways to access Mastatest results.

  1. Email: You will receive Mastatest results in your email inbox. You can add several email addresses to the system, so all of those involved in decision-making receive a copy.

  2. Mastatest data console: You and your team can directly access Mastatest results in the data console, using the website or the mobile application. The data console contains the history of results for your herd, so you can review previous results for individual cows before making mastitis management decisions.

What information is in the Mastatest results?

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For tests completed on a clinical cartridge, you will receive information on:

  • The presence (or absence) of bacteria 

  • The type of bacterial species present. Species identified are E. coli, Klebsiella, Streptococcus uberis, Streptococcus dysgalactiae, Streptococcus species, Staphylococcus aureus, Coagulase Negative Staphylococcus (non-aureus Staphylococcus) and other Gram positive bacteria.

  • An evaluation of antibiotic Minimum Inhibitory Concentration (MIC) for three key antibiotics. The selection of antibiotics is country-specific, and could include benzylpenicillin, cloxacillin, cefapirin, tylosin, oxytetracycline, marbofloxacin among others.

For tests completed on a High Somatic Cell Count (subclinical mastitis) cartridge, you will receive information on:

  • The presence (or absence) of bacteria 

  • The type of bacterial species present. Species identified are Staphylococcus aureus or Coagulase Negative Staphylococcus (non-aureus Staphylococcus) or Gram positive and/or Gram negative bacteria.

What training is required to use the Mastatest system?

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The Mastatest system requires minimal training because testing and interpretation of results are automated. It is so easy that anyone can start a test independent of qualification or training.

We do recommend that any staff member taking a milk sample should be trained on how to do this.

Staff members starting tests may require a short introductory training and should follow the simple flow chart provided for filling the cartridge, entering the identifying details for the cow, and starting the test.

What are the set-up requirements for the Mastatest system?

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All you will need to operate the Mastatest system is:

  • A WiFi or ethernet connection (at least – 65dBm signal strength – shown on display)

  • A standard power connection

  • A fridge for storage of cartridges

The initial set-up takes just minutes, with simple instructions provided with the Lapbox™. Your dealer or distributor will be able to support you with this and get you ready to process your first samples.

How many Lapboxes™ will I need for my farm?

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The number of Lapboxes you will need will depend on the rate of mastitis on the farm, and therefore the number of samples you may be likely to run in any 24-hour window.

Each Lapbox can process up to four samples at any one time. A simple rule of thumb is that one Lapbox should be able to service a herd of up to 1500 cows.

Is it safe to withhold antibiotic treatment while I wait for the test results?

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Studies have shown that waiting for 24 hours to confirm the presence (and species) of bacteria in a milk sample before treating with antibiotics is an appropriate course of action for most cows showing mild to moderate mastitis. Discuss this option with your vet or farm advisor.

As many as 25% of cows may have mastitis that does not have a bacterial cause, which should resolve without further treatment. Mastatest can identify these cows for you.

As many as 25% of cows that have Gram-negative bacteria such as E. coli in milk do not require antibiotic treatment. Discuss this option with your vet or farm advisor.

For a cow that shows severe mastitis and is acutely unwell, antibiotic treatment should be initiated immediately and could be adjusted once you have received the Mastatest results.

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