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Mastitis in dairy cows:

Research to national control scheme


Martin Green
School of Veterinary Medicine and Science
What is mastitis?
Mastitis…

Inflammation of the
mammary gland…

…any disease which


causes an immune
response and
inflammation of
mammary tissue
Gland
Parenchyma

Gland Sinus

Udder Skin

Teat Sinus

Teat Wall

Teat Canal
Causes of mastitis

All can cause “mastitis”


Bacteria
Viruses
Fungi
Physical e.g. trauma
Toxins
Neoplasia
Clinical Signs

Changes to the milk

Inflammation of the gland


– Swollen
– Hot
– Hard
– Painful
– Pos necrosis of the quarter
Clinical Signs

Sometimes very
sick…
– Reduced yield
– Temperature drop
– Vascular collapse
– Death
Why is mastitis important?

• Common (worldwide)…

• Serious repercussions…
Common…

>50 cases/100
• Clinical mastitis
cows/yr
350

300
Incidence rate of clinical mastitis
(cases per 100 cows / year)

250

200

• Subclinical
150
mastitis
100

~25% cows infected at any one time


50

0
Farm in ascending order of incidence rate
Repercussions…

• Cost
– 40% direct costs of common diseases
– £200M UK (US$2.0B )
• Public health
– Bacteria in milk
– Antibiotic use
• Welfare
– Farm animal welfare council

• Sustainability
– Wastage, costs, environmental impact…
My Journey
Control of mastitis

Prevent infections

Reduce pathogen transmission


Between cows (milking)
Environment to cow

Management interventions
Vaccines may come but difficult to date…
Initial studies on control…coincidence

• Environmental causes serious problem


Dry period

2 Months 10 Months
Simple dry period study

End1990s in 6 Somerset dairy herds…


New Infections during the Dry Period
Bacteria

Do these dry period


infections cause mastitis?
Strains of E coli
DNA Fingerprinting - Cow 312 B (RH)

2 2 C M1 M2 M3
E coli.
Isolates: 2 weeks pre-calving
Calving
Mastitis: Week 8
Week 9
Week 10
DNA Fingerprinting - Cow 744 B (RH)

M 4 3 2 1 M1 M2 M3 E. coli
Isolates: 4 weeks pre-calving
2 weeks pre-calving
1 weeks pre-calving
Mastitis: Week 1
Week 7
Week 10
DNA Fingerprinting - Cow 167 S (LH)

M 2 1 M
E. coli
Isolates: 2 weeks pre-calving
1 weeks pre-calving
Mastitis: Week 2
Changing behaviour of environmental bacteria

M -26-12-5 2 41 62 83 -15 -8 -3 2 -1 0 1 -1 0 1 -1 77 -6 3 M

M -2 0 1 -10 0 56 62 68 -1 0 72 -13 14-13 14 20 30 -6 1 -2 2 M

Bradley A.J. and Green M.J. (2001) Adaptation of Escherichia coli to the Bovine Mammary Gland.
J. Clin. Microbiol. 39;1845-9.
It turned out to be important…

…in some herds…

>50% cows became newly infected


during Dry Period

>75% of all mastitis originated in the Dry


Period
Which Herds have Dry Period Problems?

Green M.J., Green L.E., Medley G.F., Schukken Y.H., and Bradley A.J. (2002). Influence of Dry
Period Bacterial Intramammary Infection on Clinical Mastitis in Dairy Cows. J. Dairy Sci. 85:
2589-2599.
Mastitis in the first 30 days of Lactation

50.00%

45.00%
Incidence Rate of Clinical Mastitis

40.00%
(Cases per Cow at Risk)

35.00%

30.00%

25.00%

20.00%

15.00%

10.00%

5.00%

0.00%
Farm-years in Ascending order of Clinical Mastitis Incidence
Research into Industry
…Prevention?

Preventive
Treatments
Pathogen, Cow, Farm,
Management
Dry Cow Treatment: A Clinical Trial

• Target therapy towards a specific types of


bacteria
– Gram negative
• RCT - using a targeted product
– Found a 50% reduction in clinical gram
negative mastitis
• Confirmed that preventing DP infections
does reduce mastitis after calving

Bradley A.J. and Green M.J. (2001) An investigation of the impact of intramammary antibiotic dry
cow therapy on clinical coliform mastitis. J. Dairy Sci. 84 1632-1639
Non-Antibiotic Approaches

• Teat sealant during 65% bismuth sub nitrate


the dry period in a paraffin base
– Jon Huxley PhD
• Efficacy was at least
as good as a long
acting antibiotic

Huxley J.N., Green M.J., Green L.E., and Bradley A.J. (2002). Evaluation of the Efficacy of an
Internal Teat Sealer During the Dry Period. J Dairy Sci. 85: 551-561.
Follow on research

Preventive
Pathogen, Cow, Farm,
Treatments
Management
Determinants of Mastitis arising from the Dry
Period

Bacterial Dry
Interactions Period
Decisions
Further studies
Bacterial communities…
Cow and management factors

• Previous Lactation
• Drying Off
• Early Dry period
• Late Dry Period
• Calving Period
• Overall herd factors

Some ‘simple but effective’ …


Drying Off

Surgical spirit swab before administer dry


treatments ↓ risk
Late Dry Period
Transition yard area > 1.25m2 per
1000kg annual mean cow milk
production ↓ risk

8000kg ~ 10m2
Pasture grazing policy is:
Late Dry Period
Graze for 2 weeks then
rest 4 weeks
↓ risk
Farm tool for dry period management
Therefore

• Dry period infections important

• Prevention possible but needed new


strategies

• Possible to identify herds with DP


problems
Different approach to mastitis
control?
Outline of approach

Action
Points
“Diagnosis”
Must

Should
Could
Randomised clinical trial

Funded by DairyCo (MDC)

52 herd study – half received new approach


Results

0
Proportional Change in Incidence

-0.05
Rate of Cows Affected

-0.1
-0.15
-0.2
-0.25
-0.3
-0.35
-0.4
Control Compliance Compliance Compliance
Farms < 1/3 1/3 - 2/3 >2/3
Could this be used on a widespread scale?

Action
“Diagnosis” Points
Must

Should COMPLIANCE

Could
Pilot study

20 vets selected by
their farmers
A National Mastitis Control Scheme
• In October 2008 – nationwide…

• First participants trained to use the DMCP in


April 2009
The DairyCo Mastitis
Control Plan
• Changes
– Bespoke software
Plan Software
– Supporting materials

– A website was developed to support implementation of the


Plan
How is it going?

Target number plan participants trained


in 3 years
= 150 267

Target number of farms in first three


years
= 750 970 (1025)

>15% of British cows are on farms that received the plan


How is it going?

Achieving approx a 10% improvement in


mastitis in 1 year.
Profile?
Google ‘DairyCo Mastitis Control Plan’

Page 1
Page 3
Page 10
Page 30!
Profile?

• Support and promotion of the scheme by the


major retailers, regional funding bodies and
also farmer and veterinary bodies.
A National Mastitis Control Scheme

10-20% improvement pa?

…still a way to go…


On-going research…

Virulence and
Molecular
vaccines
epidemiology (strain
Host pathogen
specific infection
interactions patterns)

Understanding infection
patterns to prevent mastitis

Pathogen Heifer mastitis


transmission Prevention of dry – repercussions
and the cost of period infections
mastitis
On-going research…

Optimising
Risk factor decisions on
studies disease
prevention

Enhancing decision making for


mastitis control

Clinical National Scheme part 2:


trials
Research

National control scheme


Acknowledgements

• Andrew Bradley
• James Breen, Chris Hudson, Katherine Leach, Laura
Green, Jon Huxley, Aurelien Madouasse
• Jamie Leigh, Tracey Coffey, Richard Emes, Jasmeet
Kaler

• Funders
– Wellcome Trust
– DairyCo
– BBSRC
– Leo AH
– Bimeda AH
– Pfizer AH