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Control methods for reduction of mastitis in ewes caused by bacterial pathogens 

Journal of Dairy, Veterinary & Animal Research
František Zigo,1 Silvia Ondrašovicová2

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Controlling the risk factors and eliminating the causative agents of mastitis is crucial for modern dairy sheep farms. The aim of this study was to analyze during two milking seasons the effect of proposed anti-mastitis measures focused on the reduction of mammary gland infection caused by bacterial pathogens in ewes. During the study, aseptic samples of foremilk were collected from 400 ewes three times: at the beginning (in May), in the middle (in July), and at the end (in October) of the lactation season. Totally, 2211 samples were examined over two years. Cytological and bacteriological analyses of samples were performed to evaluate the relationship between the implemented anti-mastitis measures and intramammary infections (IMI). In the 682 positive samples, the most prevalent mastitis agents detected during all examinations were coagulase-negative Staphylococci (CNS), 47.5% (n = 324 udder samples) with S. chromogenes, S. epidermidis, S. warneri and S. xylosus being the most-prevalent species. Other detected species were Staphylococcus aureus (27.4%) and Streptococcus sanguinis (15.1%), isolated mainly from clinical forms of mastitis. In the first season, due to application of antibiotic treatment to positive sheep, exclusion of chronically ill individuals from the herd and consistent implementation of the hygiene rules at milking, the prevalence of IMI was reduced by 45.2% to 30.5% in the period from May to October. In the second season, after the introduction of a complex of preventive measures consisting in examination of ewes after lambing and weaning, regular maintenance of hooves, replacement of bedding, ensuring adequate nutrition, adherence to a hygienic milking programme and rejection of positive ewes that did not respond to antibiotic treatment, the incidence of mastitis was reduced from 28.0% (in May) to 17.8% (in October). A comprehensive approach is inevitable for achieving an appropriate control and prevention of mastitis in dairy farming and for the production of high quality milk with maintenance of udder health. 


Sheep, milking, coagulas negative staphylococci, hygienic programme, mastitis