Variation in herd level mastitis indicators between primi- and multiparae in Dutch dairy herds

B. H P van den Borne*, G. van Schaik, T. J G M Lam, M. Nielen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Composite somatic cell count data from the national test day recording and reported cases of farmer diagnosed clinical mastitis were used to estimate the occurrence of mastitis from July 2004 to June 2005 in primi- and multiparae in the Netherlands. Herds had to participate in the test day recording and had to have at least 50 cows. A random selection of 396 of these dairy herds provided composite somatic cell count data, while 205 dairy herds additionally reported on clinical mastitis cases. Prevalence of subclinical mastitis was calculated per herd as the proportion of cows with somatic cell count >200,000. cells/ml. The incidence rate to clinical mastitis was calculated as the number of clinical mastitis cases divided by the number of cow days at risk per herd. Negative binomial models were used to correct for overdispersion. Mean herd level subclinical mastitis prevalence was 12.8% (95% CI: 12.2-13.5%) in primi- and 27.1% (95% CI: 26.2-28.1%) in multiparae. Mean herd level clinical mastitis cases were observed 20.2 (95% CI: 18.3-22.4) and 39.6 (95% CI: 37.1-42.3) times per 100 cow-years at risk, respectively. Some herds had a high mastitis occurrence in one parity group, while it was low in the other. Parity-specific monitoring is needed to identify such herds.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-55
Number of pages7
JournalPreventive Veterinary Medicine
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2010


  • Clinical mastitis
  • Monitoring
  • Multiparae
  • Primiparae
  • Somatic cell count


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