An Evaluation of Subclinical Mastitis During Lactation in Anatolian Buffaloes


Abstract: Subclinical mastitis in Anatolian buffaloes (n = 71) in Afyon, Turkey was evaluated using 1637 milk samples collected monthly for 9 months. Tests applied to milk samples included the California Mastitis Test (CMT), somatic cell count (SCC), and bacteriological examination. The threshold limit for SCC was found as 130 × 10^3 cells/ml. Anatolian buffaloes are infected above this level and they are likely to be uninfected below this level. The highest rates of intramammary infection (IMI) per quarter (36.5%) and animal (69.1%) were encountered during the highest rainfall month of May. Candida spp., coagulase-negative staphylococcus (CNS) and Staphylococcus aureus and mixed infections were isolated at the rate of 41.91%, 20.59%, and 16.91% of quarters, respectively. Quarters infected with S. aureus (9.7%) were associated with CMT scores >0 and elevated SCC. No significant increase in CMT scores >0 and elevated SCC were observed during the period in which the incidence of Candida spp. was high. However, CMT (-) milk samples were determined to display higher SCC in autumn months when compared to other seasons. The microbial isolation rates in CMT (-) and CMT (+) quarters during the first 4 months of lactation were determined to be higher in comparison to other stages of lactation. The most sensitive antibiotic was amoxycillin+clavulonic acid. As it has low numbers of infectious agents, bubaline milk is important for human welfare. However, higher infection rates were observed during rainy periods, during the first 4 months of lactation, after the 5^{th} lactation, in late spring and early summer calvers, and in machine milked animals. In addition to SCC and CMT results, bacteriological examination could be carried out to identify mastitis.

Keywords: Aetiology, buffalo, California Mastitis Test, somatic cell count, subclinical mastitis

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