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Mastitis (Dairy Cattle)

Key Points

  • Mastitis can take many forms from invisible to fatal.
  • All forms are associated with production losses.
  • Mastitis may be caused by many different bacteria.
  • The main bacteria causing mastitis may differ considerably between farms and require different mastitis prevention or treatment strategies.
  • Mastitis control plans should therefore be tailored to individual farms.
  • Prevention is better than cure and is based on reducing exposure to bacteria through good hygiene.
  • Hygiene is important for lactating cows, dry cows and heifers.
  • For contagious mastitis, milking parlour hygiene is most important.
  • For environmental mastitis, hygiene in the barn, alleyways or pasture is most important.
  • There is no one-on-one relationship between bacterial species and transmission route, but some bacteria are more likely to be contagious than others.
  • Antimicrobial use and antimicrobial resistance are of increasing concern.
  • We must use antimicrobials carefully and selectively in dairy farming and concentrate efforts on disease prevention.

Research at Moredun

Moredun have a research interest in novel vaccine candidates and approaches for protection of dairy cattle against mastitis.

Farming and Veterinary Outreach

For further Information about Bovine Mastitis please see Moredun Newssheet 6.15 – Mastitis Control in Dairy Cattle: