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Diagnosis and Management of Staphylococcal Mastitis in a Cow.


Mastitis, inflammation of mammary gland leading to economic losses occurs throughout the world especially in developing countries like India (Galdhar et al., 2005). Annual losses in dairy industry due to mastitis are approximately 526 million dollars in India of which sub-clinical mastitis is responsible for approximately 70 percent of economic losses and 30 percent in case of clinical mastitis (Kurjogi and Kaliwal, 2014). The etiological agents may vary from place to place depending on climate, animal species, animal husbandry and include wide variety of gram positive and gram negative bacteria and fungi. Staphylococcus aureus is a major pathogen of bovine mammary gland and common cause of contagious mastitis in cattle (Radostits et al., 2010). S. aureus is ubiquitous in environment of dairy cattle. The infected mammary gland of lactating cows is the major reservoir and source of organism. The prevalence of intramammary infection in primiparous heifers at parturition ranges from 2-50 percent and may represent an important reservoir of infection in herds with low prevalence (Karimuribo et al., 2006; Radostits et al., 2010). The organism may be present on teat skin, bedding materials, feedstuffs, housing materials and farm equipment. Transmission between cows occurs at the time of milking by contaminated milkers' hands and milking equipments. It is clinically characterized by pyrexia, inappetance, toxaemia, ruminal stasis, swelling of udder, abnormal milk with clots and pus, gangrene of gland and teat in per-acute stage. Diagnosis of S. aureus mastitis is done by history, above clinical findings, testing of milk for mastitis like California Mastitis Test (CMT), Modified California Mastitis Test (MCMT), somatic cell count, milk culture and gram staining of blood to identify the pathogen (Kumar and Thakur, 2001). The present case report depicts laboratory evaluation of S. aureus mastitis in a crossbred cow and its successful therapeutic management.

History and Clinical Presentation

A four year old female crossbred cow was presented with history of inappetance and pyrexia since three days, swelling of mammary gland, decrease in milk yield from 12-5 litre per day, presence of flakes and clots in milk from three teats. The cow had parturated before ten days. Physical examination revealed dullness and depression, inflammation of mammary gland (Fig. 1), pain on palpation of udder, redness and high rectal temperature (103.8 (0)F).

Modified California Mastitis test (MCMT) was performed by stripping from all four quarter separately in sterilized milk paddle revealed positive for mastitis of milk from three quarter (Fig. 2). The complete blood count (Hemoglobin: 9.4 gm%, total leucocytes count: 18,200/cumm blood, neutrophils: 58%, lymphocytes: 37%, eosionophils: 03%, monocytes: 02% and basophils: Nil) revealed leucocytosis and neutrophilia. Thin blood smear examination was negative for hemoprotozoan infection. Gram staining of blood smear revealed presence of Gram positive cocci of Staphylococcus aureus under 10 X microscopes (Fig. 3). Serum biochemistry (Table 1) revealed mild increased level/elevation of liver function test enzymes such as serum ALT (98 U/L), AST (116 U/L) and normal concentration of kidney function test enzymes like BUN (31 mg/dl) and creatinine (1.2 mg/dl).

Treatment and Discussion

The cow was treated with Zoctim (a) (Ceftizoxime sodium) @ 5 mg/kg b. wt I/V on first day and was again repeated after 96 hours, intra-mammary infusion of Mammitel (a) (Colistin and Cloxacillin) once daily for three days, Chlorpheniramine maleate @ 10 ml/day for three days, multivitamins and liver extract as supportive therapy for five days. The owner was advised to maintain strict sanitary measure of dairy herd and milking instruments as well as to follow dry cow therapy to control and restrict spread of mastitis. The therapy was assessed weekly interval up to fifteen days by clinical signs, MCMT test and hemato-biochemical parameters. The cow responded to treatment and showed remarkable improvement as evidenced from disappearance of clinical signs and restoration of hematological parameters (hemoglobin: 9.8 gm%, total leucocytes count: 9400/cumm blood, neutrophils: 38%, lymphocytes: 58%, eosionophils: 03%, monocytes: 01% and basophils: Nil) by one week of treatment. The biochemical parameters of liver and kidney function tests also improved significantly after fifteen days of treatment (Table 1). The MCMT test of milk was negative for all four quarter of milk after seven days and absence of Staphylococcal colony on Gram staining after fifteen days.

Mastitis is a well known threat in dairy sector due to its massive economic loss. Staphylococcus aureus has been recognized as the most contagious pathogen of intramammary infections in milch animal species (Boerlin et al., 2003; Radostits et al., 2010). Diagnosis of S.aureus mastitis can be done by direct milk culture for detection of bacteria as well as some indirect test like MCMT, gram staining for detection of gram positive staphylococcus colony and leukococytosis in hematological examination (Boerlin et al., 2003; Tenhagen et al., 2009). In the present study, milk from three out of four quarters was highly positive for mastitis by MCMT test. There was neutrophilia and leucocytosis indicating bacterial sepsis. Presence of gram positive cocci of Staphyloccous from gram staining of blood confirmed diagnosis of S. aureus mastitis. There was mild increase in biomarkers of liver function test which may be due to sepsis produced by bacteria through systemic infection, but biomarkers of renal function test remained in normal range.

Ceftizoxime sodium is a broad spectrum third generation cephalosporin for antimicrobial treatment for Staphylococcal mastitis. It is highly effective against aerobic and anaerobic Gram +ve, Gram -ve and beta-lactamase producing bacteria causing mastitis. Single dose of injection provides optimum bactericidal therapeutic antibiotic concentration in udder tissue for five days. Intra mammary infusion (Mammitel (a)) contains Colistin sulphate and Cloxacilln sodium checks bacterial replication in udder tissue and help in rapid recovery of animal. Antihistamin like Chlorpheneramine maleate was given to check release of histamine and its receptor. Multivitamins play important role in rejuvenating parenchymatous tissue of udder (Varshney and Naresh, 2004).

The frequency, severity and economic impact of mastitis are known to depend upon the preventive and management approaches (Halasa et al., 2007). In our case, the owner was advised to maintain strict sanitary measure of dairy herd and milking instruments as well as to follow dry cow therapy to control and restrict the mastitis spread. Dry cow therapy is a common practice to leave chronic S. aureus cases until they are dried off before attempting to eliminate the infection (Rahman et al., 2009). Broad spectrum penicillin is infused into each gland after last milking of the lactation and left in situ. The major benefits of dry cow therapy are the elimination of existing intramammary infections and prevention of new intramammary infections during the dry period.


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Rahman, M.A., Bhuiyan, M.M.U., Kamal, M.M. and Shamsuddin, M. (2009). Prevalence and risk factors of mastitis in dairy cows. Bangladesh Vet. 26: 54-60.

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Padma Nibash Panigrahi (1), Jaynudin Khorajiya (2) and Mukesh Srivastava (3)

Department of Veterinary Medicine UP Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Pashu Chikitsa Vigyan Vishwavidyalaya Evam Go-Anusandhan Sansthan (DUVASU) Mathura - 281001 (Uttar Pradesh)

(1.) Assistant Professor and Corresponding author. E-mail:

(2.) Department of Veterinary Pathology

(3.) Assistant Professor

(a) - Brand of Intas Animal Health, Ahmedabad
Table 1: Serum biochemical parameters before and after treatment

Parameters              0 day    7th day   14th day

AST (U/L)               116      87        74
ALT (U/L)                98      75        68
BUN (mg/dl)              31      27        29
Creatinine (mg/dl)        1.2     0.9       1.4
Total protein (g/dl)      5.2     5.8       5.4
Albumin (g/dl)            2.9     3.1       3.0
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Title Annotation:Short Communication
Author:Panigrahi, Padma Nibash; Khorajiya, Jaynudin; Srivastava, Mukesh
Publication:Intas Polivet
Article Type:Disease/Disorder overview
Geographic Code:1U9CA
Date:Jul 1, 2018
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