Document Detail

Genetic correlations between pathogen-specific mastitis and somatic cell count in Danish Holsteins.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  19528624     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
The aim of this study was to estimate genetic correlations (r(a)) between 2 lactation average somatic cell count (LASCC) traits and 6 different mastitis traits in 226,482 first-parity Danish Holstein cows that calved between 1998 and 2008. The LASCC traits were defined from 5 to either 170 d (LASCC_170) or 300 d (LASCC_300) after calving, and the mastitis traits were unspecific mastitis (all mastitis treatments, both clinical and subclinical, regardless of the causative pathogen) and mastitis caused by either Streptococcus dysgalactiae, Escherichia coli, coagulase-negative staphylococci (CNS), Staphylococcus aureus, or Streptococcus uberis. Variance components were estimated using bivariate threshold-Gaussian models via Gibbs sampling. The posterior means of r(a) between LASCC_170 and the mastitis traits were greatest for unspecific mastitis (r(a) = 0.71), followed by CNS, Strep. dysgalactiae, Strep. uberis, and E. coli (r(a) = 0.54 to 0.69) and were lowest for Staph. aureus mastitis (r(a) = 0.44). The genetic correlation between LASCC_300 and the mastitis traits were generally smaller (r(a) = 0.47 to 0.69). Caution should be taken when interpreting the results, however, because some posterior density intervals for r(a) were large (between 0.14 and 0.47 units). Phenotypically, Staph. aureus is known to be associated with high SCC and especially with subclinical mastitis through chronic infections, so the low r(a) between Staph. aureus mastitis and LASCC, compared with r(a) for the other pathogens, was not expected. Subclinical cases are usually submitted to dry cow therapy (not included in the present study), not treated at all, or wrongly recorded as clinical cases. Thus, the incidence of Staph. aureus mastitis is likely too low, and the genetic correlation between Staph. aureus mastitis and LASCC may therefore be underestimated in the present study. The results for the remaining pathogens were as expected, smallest for E. coli and larger but similar for Strep. dysgalactiae, Strep. uberis, and CNS. Selection for lower LASCC is expected to decrease the incidence of pathogen-specific mastitis, especially for Strep. uberis, Strep. dysgalactiae, and CNS and, to a lesser extent, for Staph. aureus and E. coli. Data recording should preferably be improved, and economic weights for the pathogen-specific mastitis traits should be estimated before implementing an udder health index that includes pathogen-specific mastitis traits.
L P Sørensen; T Mark; P Madsen; M S Lund
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of dairy science     Volume:  92     ISSN:  1525-3198     ISO Abbreviation:  J. Dairy Sci.     Publication Date:  2009 Jul 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2009-06-16     Completed Date:  2009-09-28     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  2985126R     Medline TA:  J Dairy Sci     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  3457-71     Citation Subset:  IM    
University of Copenhagen, Faculty of Life Sciences, Department of Basic Animal and Veterinary Sciences, DK-1870 Frederiksberg C, Denmark.
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MeSH Terms
Bacterial Infections / genetics,  microbiology,  physiopathology,  veterinary*
Bacterial Physiological Phenomena
Cattle / genetics*
Mastitis, Bovine / genetics*,  microbiology*,  physiopathology
Milk / cytology*

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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