CellCheck Newsletter June 2018 FINAL

GUEST CONTRIBUTOR Milk Culture as a tool for mastitis control

Alan Johnson is on the CellCheck Technical Working Group and works as a Senior Research Officer in the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine’s (DAFM) Regional Veterinary Laboratory (RVL) in Limerick.

A pproximately 6,000 milk samples were cultured in diagnostic laboratories around the country in 2017. While this is not a high figure when compared to the 18,000 dairy farms and 1.4 million dairy cows in the country, the number has been rising in recent years, as more and more dairy farmers pay attention to mastitis control on their farms. The culture of milk samples for mastitis-causing pathogens is a valuable tool for use as part of a mastitis control programme. A number of veterinary

laboratories in Ireland are offering this service. Bacterial infection is responsible for virtually all cases of mastitis (clinical and subclinical), and by identifying the agent responsible, important information about the possible source of infection (contagious or environmental) and where to focus control measures can be gathered. Culturing milk samples costs money so it is important to get the maximum possible value for the effort put in. Care taken in the sampling process, refrigeration

Culturing a milk sample in a bacteriology laboratory



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