The influence of the rearing period on intramammary infections in Swiss dairy heifers: A cross-sectional study

Bludau, M.J.; Maeschli, A.; Leiber, F.; Klocke, P.; Berezowski, John Andrew; Bodmer, Michèle; Vidondo Curras, Beatriz (2016). The influence of the rearing period on intramammary infections in Swiss dairy heifers: A cross-sectional study. Preventive veterinary medicine, 129, pp. 23-34. Elsevier 10.1016/j.prevetmed.2016.04.013

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Healthy replacement heifers are one of the foundations of a healthy dairy herd. Farm management andrearing systems in Switzerland provide a wide variety of factors that could potentially be associated withintramammary infections (IMI) in early lactating dairy heifers. In this study, IMI with minor mastitispathogens such as coagulase-negative staphylococci (CNS), contagious pathogens, and environmentalmajor pathogens were identified. Fifty-four dairy farms were enrolled in the study. A questionnaire wasused to collect herd level data on housing, management and welfare of young stock during farm isitsand interviews with the farmers. Cow-level data such as breed, age at first calving, udder condition andswelling, and calving ease were also recorded. Data was also collected about young stock that spent aperiod of at least 3 months on an external rearing farm or on a seasonal alpine farm. At the quarterlevel, teat conditions such as teat lesions, teat dysfunction, presence of a papilloma and teat lengthwere recorded. Within 24 h after parturition, samples of colostral milk from 1564 quarters (391 heifers)were collected aseptically for bacterial culture. Positive bacteriological culture results were found in 49%of quarter samples. Potential risk factors for IMI were identified at the quarter, animal and herd levelusing multivariable and multilevel logistic regression analysis. At the herd level tie-stalls, and at cow-level the breed category “Brown cattle” were risk factors for IMI caused by contagious major pathogenssuch as Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus). At the quarter-level, teat swelling and teat lesions were highlyassociated with IMI caused by environmental major pathogens. At the herd level heifer rearing at externalfarms was associated with less IMI caused by major environmental pathogens. Keeping pregnant heifersin a separate group was negatively associated with IMI caused by CNS. The odds of IMI with coagulase-negative staphylococci increased if weaning age was less than 4 months and if concentrates were fed tocalves younger than 2 weeks. This study identified herd, cow- and quarter-level risk factors that may beimportant for IMI prevention in the future.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

05 Veterinary Medicine > Research Foci > Veterinary Public Health / Herd Health Management
05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Clinical Veterinary Medicine (DKV)
05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Clinical Veterinary Medicine (DKV) > Clinic for Ruminants
05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Clinical Research and Veterinary Public Health (DCR-VPH) > Veterinary Public Health Institute
05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Clinical Research and Veterinary Public Health (DCR-VPH)

UniBE Contributor:

Berezowski, John Andrew; Bodmer, Michèle and Vidondo Curras, Beatriz

Subjects:

600 Technology > 630 Agriculture
600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health

ISSN:

0167-5877

Publisher:

Elsevier

Language:

English

Submitter:

Daniela Fasel

Date Deposited:

19 Jul 2016 10:49

Last Modified:

08 Mar 2017 13:48

Publisher DOI:

10.1016/j.prevetmed.2016.04.013

PubMed ID:

27317320

Uncontrolled Keywords:

Heifer; Mastitis; Multilevel logistic regression; Rearing; Risk factor

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.83774

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/83774

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