Prevalence of udder infections and effects on milk somatic cell count during lactation in dairy goats
The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of udder infections, milk yield, teat shape and condition, lactation stage and parity on SCC in goats’ milk. Of the 126 udder halves sampled over the lactation period, 52% were continuously or sporadically infected with mastitis pathogens (coagulase-negative staphylococci (CNS), corynebacteria, major pathogens). Most prevalent species found in milk samples were CNS with 47% of bacterial isolates. The analysis of milk SCC revealed the lactation week as the most influential factor, followed by the lactation number. The average daily milk yield also had a highly significant effect on milk SCC. A significant effect of the udder infection status on milk SCC could be observed, but no differentiation could be made among different pathogenic groups. A classification of teat shape by classifying different types of teats and the degree of callosity yielded no significant effects on milk SCC.