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Minnesota Easy Culture System II

The Quality Milk Production Services (QMPS) and the University of Minnesota Udder Health Laboratory have reached an agreement whereby QMPS will distribute supplies, and provide technical support for the Easy Culture II System in the Northeast. This system consists of culture plates (Bi-plates and Triplates) and a manual that explains their use and interpretation.

This service is intended to help you perform some relatively simple microbiological analysis procedures at your farm or veterinary clinic. It is not intended to replace a high quality diagnostic laboratory or identify all organisms that may be present in the sample.

The Bi-plate system is intended to identify a quarter as infected with Gram-positive or Gram-negative organisms, but some further presumptive identification may be possible.

The Tri-plate system is intended to give more complete identification of organisms causing the problem by including an additional media. Both systems require an incubator and sterile, cotton tipped swabs and are designed to be used on quarter milk samples only.

Optional materials needed to further identify microorganisms include:

  • Microscope and slides
  • Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Flat toothpicks
  • Rabbit (coagulase) plasma

Culture results can provide you with valuable decision making information. Identifying infections early will facilitate treatment decisions and allow management changes that will have the greatest impact resulting in fewer new infections. Generally, reducing and/or preventing new infections will depend on appropriate milking procedures, cow (dry and milking) comfort and housing, heifer rearing and appropriate dry cow management. It is recommended that you and your veterinarian review all culture results and decide what mastitis management strategy is appropriate for your herd.

Easy Culture II plates and manuals, as well as other laboratory supplies can be ordered through any QMPS laboratory. Quality Milk personnel are also available to provide technical support for any of the materials they distribute. This includes: training in their use, confirmation and interpretation of culture results and a Laboratory Proficiency Testing program.