Evaluation of microbiological, cellular and risk factors associated with subclinical mastitis in female buffaloes

  • de Oliveira Moura, Emmanuella (Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte, Unidade Academica Especializada em Ciencias Agrarias) ;
  • do Nascimento Rangel, Adriano Henrique (Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte, Unidade Academica Especializada em Ciencias Agrarias) ;
  • de Melo, Maria Celeste Nunes (Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte, Departamento de Microbiologia e Parasitologia) ;
  • Borba, Luiz Henrique Fernandes (Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte, Unidade Academica Especializada em Ciencias Agrarias) ;
  • de Lima, Dorgival Morais Junior (Universidade Federal de Alagoas, Campus Arapiraca) ;
  • Novaes, Luciano Patto (Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte, Unidade Academica Especializada em Ciencias Agrarias) ;
  • Urbano, Stela Antas (Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte, Unidade Academica Especializada em Ciencias Agrarias) ;
  • de Andrade Neto, Julio Cesar (Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte, Unidade Academica Especializada em Ciencias Agrarias)
  • Received : 2016.09.30
  • Accepted : 2017.02.01
  • Published : 2017.09.01


Objective: This study aimed to evaluate the microbiological and cellular milk profile for the diagnosis of subclinical mastitis in female buffaloes and to assess risk factors for predisposition of the disease. Methods: Analyses were carried out by standard plate count (SPC), identification of species and antibiotic resistance, somatic cell count (SCC), electrical electrical conductivity of milk (ECM), and lactoferrin content in milk. Teat cups were swabbed to evaluate risk factors, observing hyperkeratosis, milking vacuum pressure and cleanliness of the site. Hence, 30 female buffaloes were randomly selected (15 from a group in early lactation and 15 in late lactation). Results: The most common bacteria in the microbiological examination were Staphylococcus spp., Streptococcus spp. and Corynebacterium sp. In the antibiotic sensitivity test, 10 (58.82%) of the 17 antibiotics tested were sensitive to all isolates, and resistant bacteria were Streptococcus uberis, Streptococcus dysgalactiae, Streptococcus haemolyticus, and Escherichia coli. It was observed that positive samples in the microbiological examination showed total bacterial count between $9.10{\times}10^3$ to $6.94{\times}10^6$ colony forming units/mL, SCC between 42,000 to 4,320,000 cells/mL and ECM ranging from 1.85 to 7.40 mS/cm. It was also found that the teat cups had high microbial counts indicating poor hygiene, and even faults in the cleanliness of the animals' waiting room were observed. It is concluded that values of SCC above 537,000 cells/mL and ECM above 3.0 mS/mL are indications of mammary gland infection for this herd; however, the association of these values with a microbiological analysis is necessary to more accurately evaluate the health status of mammary glands with subclinical mastitis. Conclusion: Through phenotypic characterization of bacteria involved in the samples, the genera Staphylococcus spp., Streptococcus spp., and Corynebacterimum bovis were the most prevalent in this study. Faults in environment and equipment hygienization are factors that are directly associated with mastitis.


Bubaline;Somatic Cell Count (SCC);Quality;Production


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