Monitoring udder health status using somatic cell counts in Holstein dairy herds located in north-east of Iran and effectiveness of 10-point mastitis control program

Document Type : Short paper


1 Graduated from Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Mashhad, Iran

2 Department of Clinical Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Mashhad, Iran

3 Clinical Unit for Herd Health Management in Ruminants, University Clinic for Ruminants, Department for Farm Animals and Veterinary Public Health, University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna, Vienna, Austria


Background: The somatic cell count (SCC) of individual cow samples is a useful proxy for monitoring udder health status. Aims: The present study aimed to provide updated information about udder health in Iranian Holstein dairy cattle, and to quantify the effectiveness of the mastitis control program. Methods: A total of 17,990 monthly test-day records from 1,663 Holstein dairy cattle in 10 “regular” herds and 2,389 test-day records from 386 Holstein dairy cattle in 2 herds that were assigned to the 10-point mastitis control program (“controlled” herds) were included. Each test-day record comprised the date of recording, daily milk production (kg), fat and protein (%), days in milk, parity, and SCC. Results: Median (Q1-Q3) SCC × 103 for “regular” and “controlled” herds were 136 (52-391) and 64 (24-204) cells/ml, respectively. Also, the percentage of records containing SCC >200,000 cells/ml (elevated SCC) for these groups were 40.3% and 25.5%, respectively. Mixed effects logistic analysis revealed that milk records from cows in the first lactation, early lactation, and with >40 kg daily milk yield had lower odds of elevated SCC. The odds of elevated SCC were lower in summer and autumn than in winter. Conclusion: Host and environmental characteristics influence SCC. This should be considered for the interpretation of SCC results. Mastitis control programs can support dairy producers to reach a standard level of udder health.


Main Subjects

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