General

A Survey of Mastitis Pathogens in the South Eastern Australian Dairy Industry

 Neil Charman1, Rodney Dyson2 , Andrew Hodge1, Natalie Robertson1 and Sarah Chaplin2

 1 Pfizer Animal Health Australia, Parkville, Vic; 2 Dairy Focus, Tongala, Vic

(This is an edited version of the presentation given at the Countdown Mastitis Symposium in Melbourne in July 2012)

Introduction

Knowing which bacteria are causing mastitis and high cell counts, gives an understanding of the source of the infection, how it is spreading, and helps to suggest treatment options.

To assist our dairy industry, Pfizer Animal Health asked Dairy Focus to co-ordinate a survey of mastitis pathogens affecting the South Eastern Australian dairy industry.

Thirteen veterinary practices enrolled 65 farms for the purpose of conducting this survey, and samples have been collected from 2986 cases of clinical mastitis and 1038 cases of subclinical mastitis between February 2011 and March 2012.

All farms enrolled in the survey had a herd size of over 250 cows, herd tested on a regular basis, and maintained an electronic herd recording system.

From the start of each calendar month, enrolled farms collected a milk sample from the first ten cases of clinical mastitis for that month.

In addition, on a single occasion, many of the farms collected a further 20-30 samples from a selected group of cows that displayed a high somatic cell count in their milk in mid-to-late lactation.

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