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Effect of clinical Staphylococcus aureus mastitis on early lactation dairy goats

G. M. Tomita1, S. P. Hart1, and M. J. Paape2

1E (Kika) de la Garza Institute for Goat Research, Langston University, Langston, OK
2USDA, ARS, ANRI, IDRL, Beltsville, MD

A study was conducted to characterize the effect of induced Staphylococcus aureus mastitis on physical parameters and milk constituents of first lactation Alpine dairy goats in early lactation (22 d in milk). The right udder half of seven goats was challenged with approximately 120 colony-forming units of S. aureus. Seven additional goats were not challenged and served as control animals. All goats were free of mastitis at the start of the experiment. Milk samples from each half of all goats were collected immediately prior to challenge (0 h) and at 24, 48, and 72 h postchallenge for somatic cell count (SCC) and composition analysis (fat and protein). Rectal temperature and milk yield were also monitored at the time interval above. Acute clinical mastitis occurred within 24 h postchallenge, and clinical symptoms and the infection persisted through 72 h. The logarithm of milk SCC from challenged halves was higher (6.75, P < 0.05, right half) than adjacent halves (6.01, left half) and the SCC of adjacent halves was higher than that of control animals (5.82, P < 0.05) at 24 h postchallenge. At 48 h and 72 h, SCC of milk from challenged halves remained elevated (6.86 and 6.96) above those of adjacent halves (5.89 and 5.88, P < 0.05) and control animals (5.79 and 5.88, P < 0.05). The percentage of milk fat from challenged halves was depressed only at 24 h postchallenge when compared with milk from adjacent halves and control group goats (3.55 versus 3.92 and 4.23, P < 0.05). However, the percentage of proteins in milk was higher (P < 0.05) in both infected and adjacent halves when compared with milk from control goats at 24 h (3.60 and 3.16 versus 2.76), 48 h (3.86 and 3.54 versus 2.72), and 72 h (3.57 and 3.66 versus 2.66). The rectal temperature of challenged goats peaked at 24 h (40.6C, P < 0.05) and returned to normal values by 48 h and 72 h (39.7C and 39.2C). Milk yields of infected goats were depressed at 24 and 48 h postchallenge when compared with control goats (P < 0.05) and recovered to prechallenge levels by 72 h. Results indicate that clinical mastitis in one udder half can influence physiological parameters in the adjacent half. Therefore, consideration must be given to both udder halves when evaluating the mammary gland health status of dairy goats.


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