Cow- and quarter-level risk factors for Streptococcus uberis and Staphylococcus aureus mastitis

R N Zadoks, H G Allore, H W Barkema, O C Sampimon, G J Wellenberg, Y T Grohn, Y H Schukken

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This study was designed to identify risk factors for intramammary infections with Streptococcus uberis and Staphylococcus aureus under field conditions. An 18-mo survey with sampling of all quarters of all lactating cows at 3-wk intervals was carried out in three Dutch dairy herds with medium bulk milk somatic cell count (200,000 to 300,000 cells/ml). Quarter milk samples were used for bacteriology and somatic cell counting. Data on parity, lactation stage, and bovine herpesvirus 4-serology were recorded for each animal. During the last year of the study, body condition score, and teat-end callosity scores were recorded at 3-wk intervals. A total of 93 new infections with Strep. uberis were detected in 22,665 observations on quarters at risk for Strep. uberis infection, and 100 new infections with Staph. aureus were detected in 22,593 observations on quarters at risk for Staph. aureus infection. Multivariable Poisson regression analysis with clustering at herd and cow level was used to identify risk factors for infection. Rate of infection with Strep. uberis was lower in first- and second-parity cows than in older cows, and depended on stage of lactation in one herd. Quarters that were infected with Arcanobacterium pyogenes or enterococci, quarters that had recovered from Strep. uberis- or Staph. aureus-infection in the past, and quarters that were exposed to another Strep. uberis infected quarter in the same cow had a higher rate of Strep. uberis infection. Teat-end callosity and infection with coagulase-negative staphylococci or corynebacteria were not significant as risk factors. Rate of Staph. aureus infection was higher in bovine herpesvirus 4-seropositive cows, in right quarters, in quarters that had recovered from Staph. aureus or Strep. uberis infection, in quarters exposed to other Staph. aureus infected quarters in the same cow, and in quarters with extremely callused teat ends. Infection with coagulase-negative staphylococci was not significant as a risk factor. The effect of infection with corynebacteria on rate of infection with Staph. aureus depended on herd, stage of lactation, and teat-end roughness. Herd level prevalence of Strep. uberis or Staph. aureus, and low quarter milk somatic cell count were not associated with an increased rate of infection for Strep. uberis or Staph. aureus.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2649-2663
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Dairy Science
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2001


  • Animals
  • Cattle
  • Cattle Diseases/epidemiology
  • Cattle Diseases/microbiology
  • Cell Count
  • Female
  • Mammary Glands, Animal/anatomy & histology
  • Mammary Glands, Animal/microbiology
  • Mastitis, Bovine/epidemiology
  • Mastitis, Bovine/microbiology
  • Milk/cytology
  • Milk/microbiology
  • Parity
  • Risk Factors
  • Staphylococcal Infections/epidemiology
  • Staphylococcal Infections/veterinary
  • Staphylococcus aureus
  • Streptococcal Infections/epidemiology
  • Streptococcal Infections/veterinary
  • Streptococcus


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