Mastitis Management

Recent Trends in Mastitis Management

Published on: 1/2/2009
Author/s :

Mastitis continues a major economic issue for dairy farmers, due to improved breeding, the cow's udder become very sensitive to infection due to its increase size, position of udder and rapid removal of large volume of milk. The heavy and big size of udder is again prone to injury and infection.

Mastitis is recognized as one of the most costly disease affecting dairy industry. It was estimated that mastitis reduces milk by 21% and butter fat by 25% (blood DC etal) it was estimated that annual losses to country is about 57.5 crore. (Dhanda etal).

Damage in epithelial layer of udder tissue resulting in lose of one or more quarter and market value of animal reduced seriously. Loose of mastitis milk due to abnormal characteristic and higher cost of veterinary ads is a barrier in development of dairy industry. Inspite of economic lose, presence of different bacteria may harmful to human consumption as well. Thus in addition to its economic effect, bovine mastitis is important for public health point of consideration.

 Etiology: - Typically there are two major causes for mastitis are

  • 1. Pathogen
  • 2. Milk Stasis

1. Pathogens

Various bacteria, virus, fungi mycoplasma are responsible for causing mastitis in all lactating mammals.

The organisms responsible for mastitis are as follows.

Bacteria:       Staphylococcus aureus. Str.agalactiae. Str.Pyogens. Corynebacterium pyogens etc.

Virus:            Vesicular Stomatitis, Infectious bovine Rhinotrachitis, Bovine herpis virus etc.

Fungus:         Tricosporium spp, Aspergillus spp, Candida spp.

Mycoplasma:  M. bovis, M. bovigenetelium, etc.

In addition to above pathogen age, breed, nutrition, shed management stage of lactation, ROP are the major predisposing factor to mastitis.

Milk stasis

Milk stasis occurs when milk is not removed from mammary gland. When udder is fully engorged and milk is not drained properly, it creates a favorable environment for growth of pathogen. Before the infection takes place retained milk itself change the chemical composition of milk and inflammed udder of cow.

New Concept Of Bovine Mastitis Control

Due to heavy loses to dairy industry researcher and dairy advisor continue to refine the mastitis control procedure. A summary on the available information on control of mastitis are:

1. Prevention of New Intra mammary infection.

Pre milking udder preparation is important for minimizing bacterial contamination. Recently a new instrument lactocorder in being used in dairy industry to assessing milk flow which is relative to milking management method and automatic machine take off setting. This method shows considerable promise as a practical tool to evaluate current milking management.

Implementation of post milking teat disinfections is an important tool to prevent the new infection. There are a no of disinfectants available in market. I suggest that any disinfectants should not use regularly for more then 15 days. Quaternary ammonium compounds and iodine solutions are the most important and economic disinfectant.

Machine milking system is a good milking method to prevent the infection. But it should be properly designed and maintained. Dynamic system testing procedure should follow to evaluate the milking system. In such testing programme, periodically sterilized swabs should take from liner of machine and send to laboratory for bacterial count.

In addition to milking management shed management is again an important issue to prevent the intra mammary infection. Daily washing of floor is not sufficient it should be washed by caustic soda once in a month and twice a weak disinfectant spray is required. This should be sprayed on walls and roof. For floor disinfection formalin 5% is economic and comfortable solution.

In spite of milking and floor management nutrition, breed, vaccine is the important topics will discus in detail.

Elimination of Existing Infection   

The management of cases of clinical mastitis during lactation is a complex issue. The basic options for a clinical mastitis therapy protocol include treating all cows with antibiotic, treating no cows with antibiotic or treating certain cows with antibiotics.

Different mastitis organism requires different treatment regimens and control strategy. For example Staphylococcas was highly susceptible to Cloxacilline followed by Gentamycin and Tetracyclin  then Enrofloxacin, Cefataxim was not effective against Staphylococcal Spp. (Mallikarjunaswami and Krishna Murthy, 1997)

Streptococcal Spp. Is highly susceptible to Enrofloxacin then Cefataxim,  Cloxacilline, Coliform Spp. is highly susceptible to Enrofloxacin followed by Gentamycin then Tetracyclin and Cefataxim.

Bacilli Spp. was highly susceptible to Cefataxim followed by Enrofloxacin.

Role Of Nutrition In Mastitis 

Using Nutrition to increase cow's defense against infection has been a recent area of research. Vitamins and mineral such as Vitamin E, selenium, copper and zinc when properly supplemented, can enhance cow immunity against mastitis.

Supplementation with Vitamin E decreases the incidence of mastitis and selenium decreases the duration of these infections. Combination of these two supplement results in greatest increase defense against mastitis. Forages are the main sauce of Vitamin E.

Copper has an important role on the immune system helping to fight off infection and diseases. Zinc is also an integral part of immune system. Zinc is important for production of keratin, which liner the inside of teat duct and helps to keep out micro organism that can cause mastitis.

Following point should be consider to improve immure function through nutrition.

  • 1. Follow a proper milking management practice which includes pre and post milking teat dipping. Dry cow therapy and providing cows a clean dry environment.
  • 2. Properly supplement heifer along with lactating and dry cows.
  • 3. Supplement vitamins and trace mineral in diet to ensure of
        Vitamin- 1000 IO/ day
        Selenium - 0.3 ppm in total diet (0.3mg/kg)
        Copper - 20 ppm (20 mg/kg)
        Zinc -40-60 ppm (40-60mg/kg)
  • 4. Be aware of differences in bioavailability among different forms of micro nutrients.

Role Of Vaccines In Management Of Mastitis 

Another approach to reducing the impact of several of the most important mastitis causing organisms has been the introduction of vaccines against those pathogens. Vaccines are available for use against coliform (a group of environmental pathogens) and Staph aureus. These vaccines can aid by helping reduce the severity and longevity of clinical mastitis infection as well as by providing a degree of protection against new intra mammary infection caused by these pathogens.

The J-5 type of vaccine is used to protect against intra mammary infection caused by coliform (E.coli, Klebsielle species, Citrobacter species, and Enterobacter species), when given to adult cows during the dry period, they have been shown to be a sound investment that should probably be used in virtually every dairy herd. In fact, the use of a J-5 vaccine is even recommended for use with pregnant heifers.

I advise producers to administer the first dose of a J-5 vaccine about six weeks before freshening. A booster injection should be given about four weeks later and another booster injection within two weeks after freshening.

Role Of Lactoferin In Management Of Mastitis 

The non-specific, multifunctional glycoprotein Lactoferrin (LF) is present in milk and external body secretions. It is released by the secondary granules of neutrophills and epithelial cells in high concentration in response to inflammatory stimuli. Lf has a broad spectrum antimicrobial activity, especially against coliform bacteria such as Escherichia coli, which cause severe mastitis in dairy cows.

The mean Lf concentration in the milk increased from 5.29 mg/ml on the last of drying-off to 8.09 and 11.26 mg/ml respectively.

Lf concentrations gradually increased and citrate concentrations decreased in milk during the first day of dry period. The invitro activity of LF against E.coli. and P.aeruginosa was good. Intra mammary infusion of LF 1 gm produced elevation of Lf in milk markedly.

LF may offer an alternative treatment against coliform mastitis in chronic conditions, but further study against local tissue reaction is awaited.

Bio Security Practices For Managing Mastitis

Although the ideal practice is to have pre-purchase screening protocols and reject animals and groups of animals that do not meet farm standards, reality is that many animals are purchased without any knowledge of their health history nor the farm of origin. This means that every purchased animal is a threat to the health of herd. Even if we have pre-screened animals we must still treat all purchased animals as potential health risks to our herd. On-farm biosecurity is a combination of management techniques and facility management.

  • Newly purchased animals should be housed in separate or isolated facilities from the herd. This is a good practice for overall biosecurity and will help us manage these animals as a separate milking group. The length of time to maintain this separation depends on our goals.
  • Collect and culture quarter milk samples to check for infection. If cows are infected treat accordingly.
  • Milk all purchased cows last or with separate milking equipment. This should be standard procedure.

Developing and following good biosecurity plans takes time and planning, but the cost to the farm enterprise for not having these plans can be considerable. If we expect that purchasing cows and heifers will enhance and not damage our herd then planning before the purchase will be well worth the efforts. It is also important to remember that developing biosecurity plans decreases our risk of introducing health problems to our herd, but there is no guarantee that it will completely prevent the introduction of disease to our herd.

Role Of Immunes Modulators In Management Of Mastitis

Some of the herbal immunomodulator have better effect to enhance immune system to fight against mammy gland infection such preparation are available in market such as immuneplus, Stenot etc in spite of these readymade formulations Ocimum (Tulsi) is an excellent immunomodulator. The research shows the use of 25gm tulsi leaf daily for mastitis cow will increase the treatment success rate. Levamisole is one of the well known immunomodulator which can enhance the immune power of animal to fight against diseases.

Role Of Genetics In Management Of Mastitis

Genetically modified

Dairy producers should periodically review their mastitis management program to be sure they are using and following all the recommended practices. The following points are practices that I suggest producers follow to minimize the incidence of udder infections in their herds.

  • Be willing to change old habits! Have your mastitis management program reviewed to be sure that it includes the recommended components. Make needed changes.
  • Involve veterinarian, coop or milk handler field representative, Extension personnel and other knowledgeable consultants on your review and consultation team.
  • Keep dry, clean udders/teats - use paper towels or rewashable cloth towels to clean and dry teats.
  • Minimize the use of water to wash udders and teats.
  • Use proven effective teat dips (both pre and post milking) to reduce number of bacteria on teats. This can help reduce the number of new udder infections.
  • Fore-strip milk from each quarter to check for clinical infection, remove high SCC and bacteria milk from teat cistern, help stimulate milk let-down, and increase milk flow rate.
  • Follow a milking routine that will provide for a fast and complete milk-out.
  • Be sure that the milking equipment is being used properly by all personnel.
  • Have milking system checked regularly for proper operation, and replace wearable parts (e.g. inflations, hoses) according to recommended schedule.
  • Keep facilities clean and dry (free stalls, alleys, feeding areas, etc.).
  • Infuse all quarters of all cows at dry-off time with an effective dry cow mastitis antibiotic product.
  • Vaccinate for Staph. aureus & coliform pathogens according to recommendations.
  • Culture milk from cows with clinical udder infections. Treat according to type of organism(s) found.
  • Cull chronically infected cows.
  • Check udder during the dry period, especially during the early and late dry period. Infuse infected quarters pre-freshening with an approved lactating cow mastitis antibiotic product.
  • Consider using a teat sealant or barrier dip.
  • Supplement selenium & vitamin E to all cows.
  • Be sure energy level in ration is adequate.
  • Keep cows cool during hot weather.
  • Keep cows out of wet areas and ponds.
  • Use fly control practices on both cows and heifers.
  • Learn the sources & control strategies for the most common mastitis pathogens.
  • Following a mastitis management program that includes these practices should help greatly in minimizing the udder infection level in a dairy herd. Lower infection levels and fewer clinical cases means more profit.
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