SciELO - Scientific Electronic Library Online

vol.80 número1Trends in udder health and emerging mastitogenic pathogens in South African dairy herdsA case-based, small-group cooperative learning course in preclinical veterinary science aimed at bridging basic science and clinical literacy índice de autoresíndice de materiabúsqueda de artículos
Home Pagelista alfabética de revistas  

Servicios Personalizados



Links relacionados

  • En proceso de indezaciónCitado por Google
  • En proceso de indezaciónSimilares en Google


Journal of the South African Veterinary Association

versión On-line ISSN 2224-9435
versión impresa ISSN 1019-9128

J. S. Afr. Vet. Assoc. vol.80 no.1 Cape Town  2009




Intramammary infection rate during the dry period in cows that received blanket dry cow therapy: Efficacy of 6 different dry-cow intra-mammary antimicrobial products



I-M Petzer; D C Lourens; T J van der Schans; J C Watermeyer; R van Reenen; G H Rautenbach; P Thompson

Department of Production Animal Studies, Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Pretoria, Private Bag X04, Onderstepoort, 0110 South Africa




The objectives of this study were to compare the efficacy of 6 different dry-cow intra-mammary antimicrobial products for the treatment and prevention of mastitis during the dry period in a well-managed high producing Friesland dairy herd, and the influence of treatment on the somatic cell count (SCC) of cows during early lactation.
One of 6 dry-cow intramammary antimicrobial products was randomly allocated to 162 cows due for drying off over a period of 14 months. All cows were sampled twice prior to drying off, and twice after calving for the determination of SCC and presence of microorganisms. The quarter prevalence of pathogens at drying off and post-calving, the overall quarter cure rate and the rate of new intramammary infections occurring during the dry period were determined.
The overall quarter prevalence of intramammary infections (IMIs) at drying off was 29.78 % and after calving 22.22 %. There was a statistically significant difference (P < 0.05) between the prevalence of major and minor pathogens at drying off (7.87 % and 21.91 %) and at calving (4.47 % and 17.75 %). The most prevalent pathogens isolated at drying off (21.14 %) and at calving (16.98 %) were coagulase-negative staphylococci (CNS). The quarter cure rate during the dry period was 83.94 %. The cure rate for the major pathogens (98 %) was significantly better (P < 0.05) than that for minor pathogens (78.9 %). The overall quarter cure rate varied from 72.3 % to 93.9 % for the various products. The rate of new quarter infections during the dry period was 17.44 % with a significant difference (P < 0.05), between the prevalence of new quarter infections with major (4.32 %) and minor pathogens (13.12 %). CNS was the most prevalent pathogen causing new quarter infections (12.34 %) and the rate of new quarter infections variedfrom 13.4 % to 24.1 % for the various products.
It is concluded that there is a difference in efficacy between antimicrobial intramammary dry-cow products in their ability to cure and prevent new IMIs during the dry period. Dry-cow products are mainly formulated for efficacy against Gram-positive cocci, while providing no or little protection against Gram-negative bacteria. Therapeutic levels may persist for only 14 to 28 days into the dry period and fail to protect the udder during the last trimester. Dry-cow therapy should, however, always form part of a holistic approach to the dry period which also considers cow factors, dry-cow management, microorganisms and the environment of the dry cow.

Key words: comparative study, cure rates, dairy cow therapy, new intramammary infections, product efficacy



“Full text available only in PDF format”




1. Aarestrup F M, Dangler C A, Sordillo L M 1995 Coagulase gene polymorphism in Staphylococcus aureus isolated from dairy cattle with mastitis. Canadian Journal of Veterinary Research 59: 124        [ Links ]

2. Anderson N G, Côté J F 1996 Dry cow therapy factsheet. Online at: (accessed June 2003)        [ Links ]

3. Barkema H W, Schukken Y H, Lam T J G M, Beiboer M L, Wilmink H, Benedictus G, Brand A 1998 Incidence of clinical mastitis in dairy herds grouped in 3 categories by bulk milk somatic cell counts. Journal of Dairy Science 81: 411-419        [ Links ]

4. Berry E 2000 To dry-cow treat or not? In Proceedings of the British Mastitis Conference, Shepton Mallet, Somerset, UK, 18 October 2000: 37-43        [ Links ]

5. Berry E A, Hillerton J E 2002 The effect of selective dry cow treatment on new intra-mammary infections. Journal of Dairy Science 85: 112-1121        [ Links ]

6. Bolourdhi M, Hovareshti P, Tabatayi A H 1995 Comparison of effects of local and systemic dry-cow therapy for staphylococcal mastitis control. Preventative Veterinary Medicine 25: 63-67        [ Links ]

7. Bradley A J, Green M J 2000 The importance of the dry period. In Proceedings of the British Mastitis Conference, Shepton Mallet, Somerset, UK, 18 October 2000: 28-36        [ Links ]

8. Bradley A J, Green M J 2001 An investigation of the impact of intramammary antibiotic dry cow therapy on clinical coliform mastitis. Journal of Dairy Science 84: 1632-1639        [ Links ]

9. Bramley A J, Dodd F H, Griffen T K 1981 Mastitis control and herd management. Technical Bulletin 4. National Institute for Research in Dairying, Reading, England, and Hannah Research Institute, Ayr, Scotland        [ Links ]

10. Da Fonseca L F L, Dos Santos M V, Pereira C C 2000 The efficacy of gentamycin and cloxacillin for dry cow therapy. Veterinaria-Noticias 6(2): 47-52        [ Links ]

11. Dingwell R T 2002 Management strategies for the prevention and elimination of intramammary infections in non-lactating dairy cows. DVSc thesis, University of Guelph        [ Links ]

12. Dingwell R T, Kelton D F, Leslie K E 2003 Management of the dry cow in control of peripartum disease and mastitis. Veterinary Clinics of North America: Food Animal Practice 19: 235-265        [ Links ]

13. Dohoo I R, Meek A H 1982 Somatic cell count in bovine milk. Canadian Veterinary Journal 23: 119        [ Links ]

14. Eberhart R L 1986 Management of dry-cows to reduce mastitis. Journal of Dairy Science 69: 1721-1732        [ Links ]

15. Eberhart R L, Buckalew J M 1977 Intra-mammary infection in a dairy herd with low incidence of Streptococcus agalactiae infections. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 171: 630-634        [ Links ]

16. Enevoldsen C, Sorensen J T 1992 Effects of dry period length on clinical mastitis and other major clinical health disorders. Journal of Dairy Science 75: 1007-1014        [ Links ]

17. Erskine R J 1998 Making mastitis treatment decisions. Proceedings of the British Mastitis Conference, Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire, June 1998. Axient/Institute for Animal Health, Milk Development Council/Novartis Animal Health: 9-14        [ Links ]

18. Fox L K, Robertson J R 1999 Heifer mastitis: is it a problem? Annual Meeting National Mastitis Council 1999(6): 19-25        [ Links ]

19. Giesecke W H, Du Preez J H, Petzer I M 1994 Practical mastitis control in dairy herds. Butterworths, Durban, South Africa        [ Links ]

20. Hamann J, Funke U, Schlote W 1998 Zur Wirksamkeit einer intrazisternalen Applikation von Benestermycin an laktierende Kühe zum Zeitpunkt der Trokenstellung. Tierärztliche Umschau 53: 668-674        [ Links ]

21. Harmon R J 1998 Influence of Copper on somatic cell counts and mastitis. Online at: (accessed May 2003)        [ Links ]

22. Harmon R J, Crist W L, Hemken R W 1986 Prevalence of minor pathogens after intra-mammary dry treatment. Journal of Dairy Science 69: 843-849        [ Links ]

23. Hogan J S, Smith K L, Hoblet K H 1989 Field survey of clinical mastitis in low somatic cell count herds. Journal of Dairy Science 72: 1247-1556        [ Links ]

24. Jánosi S, Huszenicza G 2001 The use of the dry-cow therapy in the control of bovine mastitis. Veterinary Medicine Czech 46(2): 55-60        [ Links ]

25. Jones M J 1998 Less recognized sources of mastitis infection. Online at: (accessed May 2003)        [ Links ]

26. Laevens H, Deluyker H, Schukken Y H, De Meulemeester L, Vandermeersch R, De Muelenaere E, De Kruif A 1997 Influence of parity and stage of lactation on somatic cell count in bacteriologically negative dairy cows. Journal of Dairy Science 80: 3219        [ Links ]

27. Leslie K E 1994 Mastitis control in dairy herds. In: Radostits O M, Fetrow J 2000 Herd health: food animal production medicine (2nd edn). W B Saunders, London, 229-276        [ Links ]

28. National Mastitis Council 1999 Laboratory handbook on bovine mastitis. Revised edition. National Mastitis Council, Madison        [ Links ]

29. Natzke R P 1981 Elements of mastitis control. Journal of Dairy Science 64: 1431-1442        [ Links ]

30. Natzke R P, Everett R W, Bray DR1975 Effect of drying off practices on mastitis infection. Journal of Dairy Science 58: 1828-1835        [ Links ]

31. Natzke R P, Everett R W, Guthrie R S 1972 Mastitis control program: effect on milk production. Journal of Dairy Science 55: 1256-1260        [ Links ]

32. Neave F K, Dodd F H, Henriques 1950 Udder infection in the dry period. Journal of Dairy Science 17 :37-49        [ Links ]

33. Nickerson S C 2001 Role of drug therapy in mastitis control. Online at: (accessed January 2003)        [ Links ]

34. Nickerson S C, Boddie R L 1994 Effects on naturally occurring coagulase-negative staphylococcal infections on experimental challenge with major mastitis pathogens. Journal of Dairy Science 77: 2526-2536        [ Links ]

35. Nickerson S C, Owens W E, Fox L K 1999 Comparison of Tilmicosin and Cephapirin as therapeutics for Staphylococcus aureus mastitis at dry-off. Journal of Dairy Science 82: 696-703        [ Links ]

36. Oliver S P 1988 Frequency of isolation of environmental mastitis-causing pathogens and incidence of new intramammary infection during the non-lactating period. American Journal of Veterinary Research 49: 1789-1793        [ Links ]

37. Oliver S P, Mitchell B A 1983. Susceptibility of bovine mammary gland to infections during the dry period. Journal of Dairy Science 66: 1162-1166        [ Links ]

38. Osteras O, Aursjo G, Gronningsaeter G, Jorstad A 1994 Effect of Dry-cow Therapy on Subclinical Mastitis - an evaluation of long-acting and short-acting intramammaria. Journal of Veterinary Medicine 41: 529-540        [ Links ]

39. Osterâs O, Edge V L, Martin S W 1999 Determinations of success or failure in the elimination of major mastitis pathogens in selective dry-cow therapy. Journal of Dairy Science 82: 1221-1231        [ Links ]

40. Osterâs O, Sandvik L, Aursjo J, Gjul G G, Jorstad A 1991 Assessment of strategy in the selective dry-cow therapy of mastitis control. Journal of Veterinary Medicine 38: 513-522        [ Links ]

41. Pearson J K L 1950 The use of penicillin in the prevention of C. pyogenes infection of the non-lactating udder. Veterinary Record 62: 166-168        [ Links ]

42. Radostits O M, Gay C C, Blood D C, Hinchcliff K W 2000 Textbook of the diseases of cattle, sheep, pigs, goats and horses (9th edn). W B Saunders, London        [ Links ]

43. Rainard P, Poutrel B 1988 Effect of naturally occurring intra-mammary infections by minor pathogens on new infections by major pathogens in cattle. American Journal of Veterinary Research 49: 327        [ Links ]

44. Renau J K 1986 Effective use of Dairy Herd Improvement somatic cell counts in mastitis control. Journal ofDairy Science 69: 1708        [ Links ]

45. Ruegg P. 2001. Mastitis control. Online at: (accessed May 2003)        [ Links ]

46. Sandholm M M 1995. The bovine udder and mastitis. Praesidium Books, Northlands        [ Links ]

47. Schukken Y H, Van Vliet J, Van de Geer D, Grommers F J 1993 Arandomized blind trial on dry cow antibiotic infusion in a low somatic cell count herd. Journal of Dairy Science 76: 1915-1930        [ Links ]

48. Schultze W D 1983 Effects of a regimen of dry cow therapy on intramammary infection and on antibiotic sensitivity of surviving pathogens. Journal of Dairy Science 66: 892-903        [ Links ]

49. Smith K L, Hillerton J E, Harmon R J 2001 Guidelines on normal and abnormal raw milkbased on somatic cell counts and signs of clinical mastitis. Online at: (accessed May 2003)        [ Links ]

50. Smith K L, Hogan J S 1995 The importance of coagulase-negative staphylococci. Newsletters of the International Dairy Federation (142), Mastitis Newsletter (20): 26-29        [ Links ]

51. Smith K L, Hogan J S 2000 The world of mastitis. Proceedings of the 2nd International Symposium on Mastitis and Milk Quality. Online at: (accessed January 2003)        [ Links ]

52. Smith K L, Todhunter D A, Schoeneberger P S 1985 Environmental pathogens and intra-mammary infection during the dry period. Journal of Dairy Science 68: 402-417        [ Links ]

53. Sol J, Sampimon O C, Barkema H W, Schukken Y H 2000 Factors assosciated with cure after therapy of clinical mastitis caused by Staphylococcus aureus. Journal of Dairy Science 83: 278-284        [ Links ]

54. Sorensen J T, Enevoldsen C 1991 Effect of dry period length on milk production in the next lactation. Journal of Dairy Science 74: 1277-1283        [ Links ]

55. Todhunter D K, Smith K L, Hogan J S 1995 Environmental streptococcal intramammary infection of the bovine mammary gland. Journal of Dairy Science 78:2366-2374        [ Links ]

56. Van den Heever L W, Katz K W, Prinsloo J D, Giesecke W H, Rawlins G, Jones A 1983 Standard methods for counting somatic cells in bovine milk in the Republic of South Africa. Department of Agriculture, Pretoria, Technical Communication 190: 6-8        [ Links ]

57. Van der Wal R 1995 Udder health is a management decision. Online at: (accessed January 2003)        [ Links ]

58. Williamson J H, Woolford M W, Day A M 1995 The prophylactic effect of a dry-cow antibiotic against Streptococcus uberis. New Zealand Veterinary Journal 228-233        [ Links ]

59. Wilson D J, Sears P M, Gonzalez R N, Smith B S, Schulte H F, Bennett G J, Das H N, Johnson C K 1996 Efficacy of florfenicol for treatment of clinical and subclinical bovine mastitis. American Journal of Veterinary Research 57(4): 526-528        [ Links ]

60. Ziv G, Storper M, Saran A 1981 Comparative efficacy of three antibiotics products for the treatment and prevention of subclinical mastitis during the dry period. Veterinary Quarterly 3: 74-79        [ Links ]



Received: December 2004
Accepted: January: 2009



*Author for correspondence. E-mail:

Creative Commons License Todo el contenido de esta revista, excepto dónde está identificado, está bajo una Licencia Creative Commons