Effects of a mastitis treatment strategy with or without on-farm testing

Karien Griffioen, Annet G J Velthuis, Gerrit Koop, Theo J G M Lam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

The etiology of mastitis is crucial information to use antimicrobials prudently for control and treatment. This study aimed to evaluate the effects of mastitis diagnosis and treatment strategies with on-farm testing, on cure, new intramammary infections (IMI), somatic cell count (SCC), and antimicrobial use, compared with farmers' current diagnosis and treatment strategies. The on-farm tests used, CHROMagar Mastitis (CHROMagar, Paris, France) and Minnesota Easy Culture System II Tri-plate (University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN), both had etiological groups of IMI as result, being gram-positive growth, gram-negative growth, or culture negative. Two randomized controlled trials were conducted on 15 herds: trial 1 prospectively enrolled 155 cows with clinical mastitis, and trial 2 cross-sectionally included 78 cows with subclinical mastitis. In both trials, cows were randomly distributed over 3 equal-sized groups: a test group using CHROMagar, a test group using Minnesota, and a control group not using on-farm tests. Farmers decided whether or not to treat, and which antimicrobial treatment would be applied, using information available on the day of enrollment (control group), complemented with the on-farm test result 1 d after enrollment (both test groups). For clinical mastitis, an antimicrobial treatment was given in 58% of cases that used CHROMagar, in 80% that used Minnesota, and in 86% of the controls. For subclinical mastitis, an antimicrobial treatment was given in 50% of cases that used CHROMagar, in 54% that used Minnesota, and in 4% of the controls. Bacteriological cure rate of clinical mastitis was lowest in the CHROMagar group [odds ratio 0.18 (95%CI 0.03-0.99)] compared with the controls. Using the Minnesota on-farm test for subclinical mastitis diagnosis and treatments resulted in fewer new IMI on d 21 [odds ratio 0.06 (95%CI 0.00-0.74)] compared with the controls. Clinical cure rate, percentage of new IMI, and SCC on d 21 of clinical mastitis were comparable among the groups. Using on-farm tests in farmers' decision-making process resulted in more treatments in accordance with the etiology of mastitis than without on-farm testing. A diagnosis and treatment strategy with on-farm testing is advised in cows with clinical mastitis to enhance prudent antimicrobial use. For subclinical mastitis, however, on-farm testing may lead to an unacceptable increase in use of antimicrobials and thus should not be advised as the common approach.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4665-4681
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Dairy Science
Volume104
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2021

Keywords

  • dairy cattle
  • mastitis
  • on-farm test
  • prudent antimicrobial use
  • treatment strategy

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