Prepartum teat apex colonization with Staphylococcus ...

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Title Prepartum teat apex colonization with Staphylococcus chromogenes in dairy heifers is associated with low somatic cell count in early lactation
Author(s) S. De Vliegher, H. Laevens, L. A. Devriese, G. Opsomer, J. L. Leroy, H. W. Barkema, A. de Kruif
Journal Veterinary Microbiology
Date 2003
Volume 92
Issue 3
Start page 245
End page 252
Abstract A high number of dairy heifers freshen with udder health problems. The prevalence of teat apex colonization (TAC) with Staphylococcus chromogenes, one of the most widespread coagulase-negative staphylococci (CNS) in milk samples from freshly calved dairy heifers, was measured cross-sectionally in non-lactating heifers on eight commercial dairy farms in Belgium. The influence of age on this prevalence, and the association between teat apex colonization with S. chromogenes prepartum and quarter milk somatic cell count (SCC) in early lactation were studied. In total, 492 teat apices were sampled from 123 heifers. The age of the heifers varied from 8 to 34 months. Overall, 20% of the heifers had at least one teat apex colonized with S. chromogenes. Of all teats sampled, 10% were colonized with S. chromogenes. The chance of having at least one teat apex colonized with S. chromogenes increased with age of the heifer. The presence of prepartum teat apex colonization with S. chromogenes was not associated with intramammary infection (IMI) early postpartum with the same bacterium. On the contrary, teat apex colonization with S. chromogenes prepartum appeared to protect quarters in the first few days of lactation from having somatic cell count >or=200000cells/ml milk, commonly accepted as the threshold for intramammary infection.

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