Clinical and subclinical mastitis in smallholder dairy farms in Tanzania: Risk, intervention and knowledge transfer

E D Karimuribo, J L Fitzpatrick, C E Bell, E S Swai, D M Kambarage, N H Ogden, M Bryant, N P French

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

In a cross-sectional study of 400 randomly selected smallholder dairy farms in the Tanga and Iringa regions of Tanzania, 14.2% (95% confidence interval (CI) = 11.6-17.3) of cows had developed clinical mastitis during the previous year. The point prevalence of subclinical mastitis, defined as a quarter positive by the California Mastitis Test (CMT) or by bacteriological culture, was 46.2% (95% Cl = 43.6-48.8) and 24.3% (95% Cl = 22.2-26.6), respectively. In a longitudinal disease study in Iringa, the incidence of clinical mastitis was 31.7 cases per 100 cow-years. A randomised intervention trial indicated that intramammary antibiotics significantly reduced the proportion of bacteriologically positive quarters in the short-term (14 days post-infusion) but teat dipping had no detectable effect on bacteriological infection and CMT positive quarters. Other risk and protective factors were identified from both the cross-sectional and longitudinal included animals with Boran breeding (odds ratio (OR) = 3,40, 95% CI = 1.00-11.57, P < 0.05 for clinical mastitis, and OR = 3.51, 95% CI = 1.299.55, P < 0.01 for a CMT positive quarter), while the practice of residual calf suckling was protective for a bacteriologically positive quarter (OR = 0.63, 95% Cl = 0.48-0.81, P <= 0.001) and for a CMT positive quarter (OR = 0.69, 95% Cl = 0.63-0.75, P < 0.001). A mastitis training course for farmers and extension officers was held, and the knowledge gained and use of different methods of dissemination were assessed over time. In a subsequent randomised controlled trial, there were strong associations between knowledge gained and both the individual question asked and the combination of dissemination methods (village meeting, video and handout) used. This study demonstrated that both clinical and subclinical mastitis is common in smallholder dairying in Tanzania, and that some of the risk and protective factors for mastitis can be addressed by practical management of dairy cows following effective knowledge transfer. (c) 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)84-98
Number of pages15
JournalPreventive Veterinary Medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 17 Apr 2006

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • mastitis
  • smallholder dairy farming
  • knowledge dissemination
  • intervention
  • risk factors
  • MILK
  • WHEY


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