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Research article2004Peer reviewed

Occurrence of subclinical mastitis in buffaloes in different herd sizes and milking management systems

Chirathalattu, Santosh Thomas; Nimmervoll, Helena; Boije, Caroline; Svenenrsten, Sjaunja Kerstin; Lundeheim, Nils; Östensson, Karin


Influence of herd size and milking management on the udder health status of buffaloes was studied. 749 quarter milk samples from 190 animals in two herd sizes and three milking management systems: calf suckling and hand milking (CH), manual pre-stimulation and hand milking (MH), and manual pre-stimulation and machine milking (MM) were analysed for somatic cells (SCC), California Mastitis Test (CMT), proportion of neutrophils (NEU), and bacterial infection. Among the total quarters 97.5% had no clinical signs of mastitis. The correlation between CMT, SCC, and NEU appeared weaker than observed in bovine milk. Milking management significantly influenced occurrence of mastitis while influence of herd size was weaker. Small CH-herds had lowest prevalence while large MM-herds had highest. However, among small herds with manual pre-stimulation, the machine milked and hand milked herds had similar prevalence of mastitis, indicating that machine milking per se did not negatively influence udder health. Prevalence on animal basis was, based on CMT 37%, SCC 32%, increased NEU 21% and infection 33%, while the corresponding figures on quarter basis were: 15%, 14%, 8% and 12%. Among infected quarters environmental bacteria were predominant with large MM-herds having the highest prevalence. The results indicate that mastitis was mainly due to poor environment. Calf suckling had a positive effect on udder health


CMT; SCC; neutrophil; bacteria; pre-milking routines

Published in

Buffalo Journal
2004, Volume: 2004, number: 3, pages: 289-306
Publisher: Thai Buffalo Association