Advancing the health and well-being of animals and people

Principal Investigator: Jessica Scillieri-Smith

Department of Population Medicine and Diagnostic Sciences
Email:; Phone: 315-379-3930
Sponsor: Cornell Cooperative Extension-Jefferson Country
Grant Number: 2017-002C
Title: Assessing the Risk of Subclinical Infections in Cows with Clinical Mastitis
Project Amount: $33,999
Project Period: 01/01/17-03/31/18

DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Clinical mastitis (CM) is an expensive disease in the dairy industry, costing farms an estimated $200 (Bar, 2008) to $400 (Rollin, 2015) per clinical case. The most common approach to treatment and management of cows with CM is to focus efforts on the quarter(s) with abnormal milk and signs of inflammation, disregarding quarters with visibly normal milk. Current recommendations for pathogen based mastitis treatment protocols result in a decrease in antibiotic use and increase in saleable milk, focusing on the quarter(s) with abnormal milk. However, when we compared the estimated percentages of clinical mastitis (Barkema, 1998) to all infected quarters (Eberhart, et al, 1982) based on bulk tank SCC, we can see that clinical infections can be “the tip of the iceberg.” Because subclinical mastitis can negatively impact milk production (Huijps, et al., 2008), these intramammary infections (IMI) may be worthwhile to identify and manage, including possible treatment.