Onderstepoort Journal of Veterinary Research
On-line version ISSN 2219-0635
KATSANDE, Simbarashe; MATOPE, Gift; NDENGU, Masimba and PFUKENYI, Davies M. Prevalence of mastitis in dairy cows from smallholder farms in Zimbabwe. Onderstepoort j. vet. res. [online]. 2013, vol.80, n.1, pp. 00-00. ISSN 2219-0635.
A cross-sectional study was conducted to determine the prevalence of sub-clinical and clinical mastitis and the associated factors in cows from selected smallholder dairy farms in Zimbabwe. Physical examinations were conducted on all lactating cows for evidence of signs of clinical mastitis. Composite milk samples were collected from all lactating cows for bacterial culture and somatic cell counting. Cows were categorised as clinical if they exhibited clinical features of mastitis, or sub-clinical if no apparent signs were present but they had a positive bacterial isolation and a somatic cell count of at least 300 x 103 cells/mL. Farm-level factors were obtained through a structured questionnaire. The association of mastitis and animal-and herd-level factors were analysed using logistic regression. A total of 584 animals from 73 farms were tested. Overall, 21.1% (123/584) had mastitis, 16.3% (95/584) had sub-clinical mastitis and 4.8% (28/584) had clinical mastitis. Herd-level prevalence was 49.3%. Coagulase-negative staphylococci (27.6%), Escherichia coli (25.2%), Staphylococcus aureus (16.3%), Klebsiella spp. (15.5%) and Streptococcus spp. (1.6%) were the most common isolates. In individual cows, pure dairy herds (OR = 6.3) and dairy crosses (OR = 3.1) were more likely to have mastitis compared to Mashona cows. Farms that used pre-milking teat dipping were I: associated with reduced mastitis prevalence. Further research is needed on the prevalence of mastitis and a comparison of data for both smallholder and commercial dairy farms in all regions of Zimbabwe should be undertaken.