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Research article2002Peer reviewedOpen access

International genetic evaluations of Holstein sires for milk somatic cell and clinical mastitis

Mark, Thomas; Fikse, Freddy; Emanuelson, Ulf; Philipsson, Jan


International genetic evaluations for milk somatic cell and clinical mastitis have been implemented on a routine basis by Interbull. This paper examines possible genetic consequences of such evaluations. Holstein data from 12 countries were used for this purpose. Trait definitions and national genetic evaluation procedures were first summarized and showed that differences between countries existed. Estimated genetic correlations among milk somatic cell in these countries ranged from 0.47 to 0.97, with a median of 0.88. Estimated genetic correlations among clinical mastitis in three Nordic countries ranged from 0.59 to 0.83, and estimated genetic correlations between clinical mastitis in the three Nordic countries and milk somatic cell in the non-Nordic countries ranged from 0.37 to 0.78 with a median of 0.55. Bulls without daughter information in the Nordic countries had low reliabilities on the Nordic clinical mastitis scales. International genetic evaluations for milk somatic cell and clinical mastitis enable a broader selection among foreign bulls, and higher selection differentials were found when using international evaluations compared with national evaluations.


milk somatic cell; clinical mastitis; international genetic evaluations; Interbull; MACE; genetic correlation; Holstein

Published in

Journal of Dairy Science
2002, Volume: 85, number: 9, pages: 2384-2392