JOURNAL ARTICLE

Efficacy of a herd-specific vaccine against Staphylococcus aureus to prevent post-partum mastitis in dairy heifers

B A Tenhagen, D Edinger, B Baumgärtner, P Kalbe, G Klünder, W Heuwieser
Journal of Veterinary Medicine. A, Physiology, Pathology, Clinical Medicine 2001, 48 (10): 601-7
11848253
A placebo-controlled field study was performed to evaluate the effect of a herd-specific vaccine against Staphylococcus aureus on intramammary infection (IMI), somatic cell count (SCC) and clinical mastitis. Three hundred and twenty-one heifers were assigned to two groups. Heifers in the vaccination group (n = 164) were vaccinated twice, i.e. 5 and 2 weeks before their expected calving date. Animals of the control group (n = 157) received the same treatment with a placebo containing no bacterial antigen. Quarter milk samples were collected immediately after parturition prior to the first machine milking, 3-4 weeks after calving and before the onset of treatment in animals with signs of clinical mastitis during the first 3 months after calving. For comparison of SCC the data from the monthly milk test records were evaluated. The prevalence of S. aureus in quarter milk samples taken at calving and 3-4 weeks post-partum did not differ significantly between the vaccine and control group. Incidence of clinical mastitis during the first 3 months after calving and the prevalence of S. aureus in quarter milk samples taken before the onset of treatment did not differ significantly between the groups. The SCC was lower in vaccinated than in control heifers. However, the difference was only significant on the third milk test day. Regarding prevalence of IMI with S. aureus and incidence of clinical mastitis the use of a herd-specific vaccine against S. aureus did not prove to be efficient on this farm.

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