CellCheck Newsletter June 2018 FINAL


In addition to identifying the mastitis-causing bacteria in a milk sample, veterinary laboratories usually test those bacteria for antimicrobial sensitivity or resistance. This can provide useful information for the veterinary practitioner when making a decision on an appropriate antimicrobial to prescribe. Although antimicrobial resistance is not seen currently as a huge issue in the Irish dairy industry, changes in resistance patterns are being seen. Antimicrobial resistance is a huge global issue that is having a serious impact on human health. It is important, when choosing an antimicrobial for treating cows during lactation or during the dry period, to select one appropriate to the on-farm situation. If possible, antimicrobials deemed critically important for human medicine, such as the macrolides, quinolones and 3rd, 4th and 5th-generation cephalosporins, should only be chosen when deemed necessary. Eight private laboratories volunteered to participate in a Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine- operated milk culture performance-testing (PT) programme in 2017. A set of milk samples spiked with various mastitis-causing bacteria was circulated to each laboratory on two occasions during the year. Each laboratory was scored based on the accuracy of the results obtained. Six of the eight participating laboratories passed the standard deemed necessary to be successful and were designated as ‘Cellcheck Partner Laboratories’ and listed on the Animal Health Ireland website click here . The PT programme is being continued in 2018.

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.



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