Subclinical mastitis, where there is a raised somatic cell count (SCC) but no clinical signs of mastitis apparent, can be a serious problem in dairy herds. Most often, subclinical mastitis is caused by an intramammary bacterial infection. Infections due to the highly contagious Staphylococcus aureus bacteria are of most concern due to the impact on milk quality and yield.
The use of milk culture is generally recommended by veterinarians to guide treatment, handling and management decisions for cows, alongside individual cow SCC counts. Laboratory or clinic-based tests however can be cumbersome for farmers to integrate into their day-to-day processes.
New data from scientists at Mastaplex, working with veterinarians and farmers in Southland, New Zealand, shows that on-farm milk culture with Mastatest can reliably detect S. aureus (and CNS) and cases where no bacteria are present, with a high degree of agreement versus reference methods in cows with an ICSCC of >150,000 cells/ml.
This data informs that Mastatest can reliably be used to inform critical decision-making on treatment, handling, and management of cows with subclinical mastitis within a dairy herd.
Read the full publication online in JDS Communications.