A cohort study of the effect of Streptococcus agalactiae on milk yield and somatic cell count in Norwegian dairy cows

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Ingrid H Holmøy, Ingrid Toftaker, Carsten Kirkeby, Olav Østerås, Hannah J Jørgensen, Ane Nødtvedt

The primary objective of the present study was to estimate the effect of Streptococcus agalactiae intramammary infection on milk production and somatic cell count (SCC) in Norwegian dairy cows. A secondary objective was to assess differences in the effect of common Strep. agalactiae sequence types (ST) found in Norwegian dairy herds. We performed a cohort study combining registry data with sequence-type data from Strep. agalactiae isolates. Herds in which Strep. agalactiae had been detected in individual animals (bacteriological culture or quantitative PCR) between 2012 and 2015 were included. We accessed monthly test-day milk yield records for the entire period to compare milk yield and SCC between cows that were Strep. agalactiae positive and all other cows, within each herd. The study sample consisted of 150 herds, 15,757 cows, 30,850 lactations, and 204,126 test days. We evaluated the effects of Strep. agalactiae on test-day milk yield and SCC using mixed linear regression models, controlling for clustering by herd, cow, and lactation. Multilocus sequence typing of Strep. agalactiae was available for isolates from 86 herds. Additional models were fit to a subset of herds (n = 59) in which ST1, ST23, ST103, and ST196 had been found, to compare the effects of ST on milk production and SCC. In the period 3 to 2 mo before diagnosis, Strep. agalactiae-positive cows produced an average of 1.3 kg more DIM-adjusted milk/d than their negative herd mates. At the time of diagnosis, production was on average 0.13 kg less DIM-adjusted milk/d in Strep. agalactiae-positive cows than in negative cows; 2 to 3 mo after diagnosis, they produced 1.24 kg less DIM-adjusted milk/d than negative cows. Losses persisted for the rest of the investigated period. Cows with ST23, ST103, and ST196 followed a similar pattern as the overall analysis with respect to milk production, whereas ST1-affected cows produced similar amounts of milk before diagnosis as the negative cows. Cows with ST1 experienced the largest milk loss 1 to 2 mo after diagnosis but then recovered to some extent; for cows with ST103, the severe milk loss persisted for the rest of the investigation period. The cow-associated ST103 elicited a lower response in peak SCC compared with ST23, ST103, and ST196. The results indicate an effect of Strep. agalactiae on milk production and SCC. Production was lowest 2 to 3 mo after a positive sample. Peak SCC was reached the month before diagnosis, with notable differences between sequence types.

OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftJournal of Dairy Science
ISSN0022-0302
DOI
StatusE-pub ahead of print - 10 jul. 2019

Bibliografisk note

Copyright © 2019 American Dairy Science Association. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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