New Microbiological, Clinical and Management Features for Improving the Udder Health and Milk Quality in Animals

A special issue of Animals (ISSN 2076-2615). This special issue belongs to the section "Veterinary Clinical Studies".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2021) | Viewed by 15693

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Veterinary Sciences, University of Pisa, 56122 Pisa, Italy
Interests: udder health; mastitis; animal welfare; ruminants; milk quality

Special Issue Information

Mastitis, defined as an inflammation of the mammary gland caused by different types of pathogens, is the most economically important disease of dairy cows and small ruminants. It affects the milk quality and hygiene and represents a welfare problem for the affected animals. Management such as the type of farming, (extensive vs. semi-extensive systems for small ruminants), dry period procedures, bedding and milking routine could play a critical role in udder health due to an increased risk of intra-mammary infections. On the other hand, all these factors could also reduce milk quality and hygiene indirectly; indeed, the population of microorganisms present in milk reflects both the health status of the udder as well as the whole environment and management of the farm.

Considering the impact and importance of mastitis and milk hygiene on milk farms and production industries, this Special Issue aims to illuminate the current integrative research concerning the epidemiology, management practices, welfare, microbiologic and clinical features of mastitis and milk hygiene.

You are invited to submit either an original article or a review summarizing different types of research on mastitis. Articles highlighting and documenting any aspect of mastitis diagnosis, prevention and control as well manuscripts describing effect of the environment and management on milk quality are welcome and will be taken into consideration for the publication. Although work on ruminants is the primary focus of this Special Issue, investigations into mastitis in non-conventional dairy species or other animals will also be evaluated.

Dr. Luca Turini
Dr. Fabrizio Bertelloni
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Animals is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • mastitis
  • milk
  • management
  • environment
  • hygiene
  • ruminants
  • diagnosis
  • prevention
  • control
  • epidemiology

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

7 pages, 230 KiB  
Communication
Can Procalcitonin Be Dosed in Bovine Milk Using a Commercial ELISA Kit?
by Valentina Meucci, Chiara Orsetti, Micaela Sgorbini, Federica Battaglia, Marta Cresci and Francesca Bonelli
Animals 2022, 12(3), 289; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12030289 - 25 Jan 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2095
Abstract
The aim was to evaluate the use of a bovine procalcitonin (PCT) ELISA kit (Cusabio, China) for assessing PCT in bovine milk samples. Validation was performed by using 10 plasma and corresponding milk samples from mastitic cows. The limit of detection (LOD) was [...] Read more.
The aim was to evaluate the use of a bovine procalcitonin (PCT) ELISA kit (Cusabio, China) for assessing PCT in bovine milk samples. Validation was performed by using 10 plasma and corresponding milk samples from mastitic cows. The limit of detection (LOD) was calculated. The coefficient of variation (CV%) of the readings of five plasma samples measured five times in the same plate (intra-assay) and the CV% of the same five samples read five times in three separate plates was evaluated. Parallelism was determined by serial twofold dilutions of five plasma and corresponding milk samples. Milk samples were analyzed with and without centrifugation. Regarding plasma PCT, the method presented an inter- and intra-CV < 23.7% and parallelism had very good recovery values. The ELISA kit studied can measure bovine plasma PCT concentrations. The kit antibodies fail in binding PCT in milk samples because all centrifuged milk samples showed a lower LOD than blank samples. Only three uncentrifuged milk samples showed measurable PCT concentrations. Due to these results, the commercial ELISA kit investigated could not be employed for the detection of PCT in milk samples. Full article
15 pages, 327 KiB  
Article
Aerobic Isolates from Gestational and Non-Gestational Lactating Bitches (Canis lupus familiaris)
by Iosif Vasiu, Gabriele Meroni, Roman Dąbrowski, Piera Anna Martino, Asta Tvarijonaviciute, Mariola Bochniarz, Raul Alexandru Pop, Florinel Gheorghe Brudaşcă and Nicodim Iosif Fiţ
Animals 2021, 11(11), 3259; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11113259 - 14 Nov 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2002
Abstract
Mastitis is a complex and well-defined mammary gland pathology, and an emergency in bitches. In dogs, its prevalence is about 1% of all reported diseases and about 5.3% of all reproductive pathologies. Lactating bitches are naturally prone to developing mastitis since puppies can [...] Read more.
Mastitis is a complex and well-defined mammary gland pathology, and an emergency in bitches. In dogs, its prevalence is about 1% of all reported diseases and about 5.3% of all reproductive pathologies. Lactating bitches are naturally prone to developing mastitis since puppies can easily overstimulate the epidermal layer of nipples during feeding, facilitating bacterial colonization of the glands. This study aimed to describe the aerobic bacterial flora isolated from milk samples derived from a cohort of patients (n = 87) diagnosed with clinical mastitis (n = 29), subclinical mastitis (n = 17) and healthy mammary glands (n = 46). All of the patients underwent a gynecology consultation to diagnose mammary gland afflictions; physical examination results were coupled with traditional hematological findings. The milk samples were plated on specific microbiological media for bacterial isolation. Among the 162 milk samples analyzed, 93.2% (151/162) had a positive microbiological result, while 6.8% (11/162) were sterile. The bacteriological profile of the milk samples showed 47 different species. The most common bacterial families detected in healthy bitches and bitches with subclinical and clinical mastitis were the Staphylococcaceae, Enterobacteriaceae and Enterococcaceae families. The results indicated that half of the isolated bacteria are novel findings in dogs and that some of them are normal components of human milk. Full article
19 pages, 2220 KiB  
Article
Effect of Palpable Udder Defects on Milk Yield, Somatic Cell Count, and Milk Composition in Non-Dairy Ewes
by Mandefrot M. Zeleke, Paul R. Kenyon, Kate J. Flay, Danielle Aberdein, Sarah J. Pain, Sam W. Peterson and Anne L. Ridler
Animals 2021, 11(10), 2831; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11102831 - 28 Sep 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1741
Abstract
In non-dairy ewes, udder defects hinder the survival and weight gain of their pre-weaned lambs. The objectives of this study were to determine the effects of palpable udder defects on milk yield, somatic cell count (SCC), and milk composition in non-dairy Romney ewes. [...] Read more.
In non-dairy ewes, udder defects hinder the survival and weight gain of their pre-weaned lambs. The objectives of this study were to determine the effects of palpable udder defects on milk yield, somatic cell count (SCC), and milk composition in non-dairy Romney ewes. Ewes with a history of udder defects or normal udders were selected for the study. Of a total of 48 ewes that lambed, 30 ewes reared at least one lamb, and were milked six times, once weekly, for the first six weeks of lactation. Udder halves were palpated and scored at each milking event. Multivariate linear mixed models examined the impacts of udder defects on udder-half and whole-udder milk yield, SCC, and milk composition (fat, protein, lactose, total solids, and solids non-fat (SNF)). Across the six examinations, 24.7% of the total 352 udder-half examinations were observed to be defective. Udder halves that were defective at least once produced on average 57.9% less (p < 0.05) milk than normal udder halves, while normal udder halves with a contralateral defective half yielded 33.5% more (p < 0.05) milk than normal udder halves. Successive occurrence of both hard and lump udder defect categories in an udder-half, udder defect detection early in lactation, and a high frequency of udder defect detection were all associated with udder-half milk yield loss (p < 0.05). At the whole-udder level, no differences in milk yield (p > 0.05) were observed between those with one udder-half defective and both normal udder-halves. However, udders in which one udder half was categorised as hard but progressed to lump and remained as lump until 42 days of lactation produced less (p < 0.05) milk compared with normal udders. With the exception of SNF, there were no significant associations (p > 0.05) between milk composition parameters and udder defect. Overall, these findings emphasise the importance of udder health in non-dairy ewes and the potential effect of udder defects on their lambs. Full article
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11 pages, 1410 KiB  
Article
Milk Lactose as a Biomarker of Subclinical Mastitis in Dairy Cows
by Ramūnas Antanaitis, Vida Juozaitienė, Vesta Jonike, Walter Baumgartner and Algimantas Paulauskas
Animals 2021, 11(6), 1736; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11061736 - 10 Jun 2021
Cited by 32 | Viewed by 5815
Abstract
Bovine subclinical mastitis can cause great harm to dairy herds because of its negative impact on milk production and quality and cow health. Improved diagnostic tools are needed to maximise the control of subclinical mastitis distribution and ensure the high quality of milk [...] Read more.
Bovine subclinical mastitis can cause great harm to dairy herds because of its negative impact on milk production and quality and cow health. Improved diagnostic tools are needed to maximise the control of subclinical mastitis distribution and ensure the high quality of milk as an industrial product. Between 2015 and 2020, seventy-two dairy herds were screened for bovine subclinical mastitis causative agents to identify the relationship between seasons, lactose levels and subclinical mastitis infection. The predominant species found in the milk samples were mixed microbiota, coagulase-negative Staphylococcus and Staphylococcus aureus. Yeasts were found exclusively in autumn, while Enterococcus spp. and Escherichia coli were only found in summer and autumn. A negative correlation was detected between milk lactose and number of somatic cells in milk (−0.471; p < 0.001). The lactose levels in milk were closely associated with the prevalence (%) of subclinical mastitis pathogens, such as Streptococcus agalactiae (y = −1.8011x + 10.867, R2 = 0.9298), Staph. aureus (y = −3.5216x + 25.957, R2 = 0.8604) and other Streptococci (y = −0.5956x + 7.6179, R2 = 0.6656). These findings suggest that milk lactose may be used as a biomarker of suspected udder inflammation in modern health prevention programmes for cows to reduce the prevalence of subclinical mastitis pathogens in dairy cattle herds. Full article
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10 pages, 1476 KiB  
Communication
Influence of Calving Ease on In-Line Milk Lactose and Other Milk Components
by Ramūnas Antanaitis, Vida Juozaitienė, Dovilė Malašauskienė, Mindaugas Televičius, Mingaudas Urbutis and Walter Baumgartner
Animals 2021, 11(3), 842; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11030842 - 16 Mar 2021
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1880
Abstract
The aim of our study was to determine how the ease of calving of cows may influence changes in lactose concentration and other milk components and whether these two factors correlate with each other. To achieve this, we compared data of calving ease [...] Read more.
The aim of our study was to determine how the ease of calving of cows may influence changes in lactose concentration and other milk components and whether these two factors correlate with each other. To achieve this, we compared data of calving ease scores and average percentage of in-line registered milk lactose and other milk components. A total of 4723 dairy cows from nine dairy farms were studied. The cows were from the second to the fourth lactation. All cows were classified according to the calving ease: group 1 (score 1)—no problems; group 2 (score 2)—slight problems; group 3 (score 3)—needed assistance; group 4 (score 4)—considerable force or extreme difficulty. Based on the data from the milking robots, during complete lactation we recorded milk indicators: milk yield MY (kg/day), milk fat (MF), milk protein (MP), lactose (ML), milk fat/lactose ratio (MF/ML), milk protein/lactose ratio (MP/ML), milk urea (MU), and milk electrical conductivity (EC) of all quarters of the udder. According to the results, we found that cows that had no calving difficulties, also had higher milk lactose concentration. ML > 4.7% was found in 58.8% of cows without calving problems. Cows with more severe calving problems had higher risk of mastitis (SCC and EC). Our data indicates that more productive cows have more calving problems compared to less productive ones. Full article
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