Negatively controlled, randomized clinical trial to evaluate intramammary treatment of nonsevere, gram-negative clinical mastitis

M J Fuenzalida, P L Ruegg
Journal of Dairy Science 2019 April 10
The objective of this negatively controlled, randomized clinical trial was to examine clinical outcomes of 2-d or 8-d treatment using an approved intramammary (IMM) product containing ceftiofur hydrochloride compared with no antimicrobial treatment of nonsevere, gram-negative cases of clinical mastitis (CM). Additionally, we contrasted clinical outcomes of cases caused by Escherichia coli (n = 56) or Klebsiella pneumoniae (n = 54). Cases (n = 168) of nonsevere (abnormal milk or abnormal milk and udder) CM were randomly assigned to receive 2 d (n = 56) or 8 d (n = 56) of IMM ceftiofur or assigned to a negative control group (n = 56). At enrollment, quarter milk samples were collected and used for on-farm culture, somatic cell count (SCC), and confirmatory microbiological analysis. Quarter milk samples were collected weekly from 7 to 28 d after enrollment for microbiological and SCC analysis. Clinical outcomes were followed for 90 d or until the end of lactation (follow-up period, FUP). Overall, no significant differences in quarter-level recurrence of CM (32% for negative control, 34% for the 2-d treatment, and 32% for the 8-d treatment), culling (18% for negative control, 12% for 2-d treatment, and 11% for 8-d treatment), voluntary dry-off of affected quarters (20% for negative control, 30% for 2-d treatment, and 27% for 8-d treatment), days until return to normal milk (4.2 days for negative control, 4.8 days for 2-d treatment, 4.5 days for 8-d treatment), weekly quarter-SCC during the FUP (6.1, 6.3, and 6.0 log10 SCC for the negative control, 2-d, and 8-d treatments, respectively), or daily milk yield during the FUP (37.1, 36.3, and 37.6 kg/cow per day for the negative control, 2-d, and 8-d treatments, respectively) were observed among experimental groups. Days of discarded milk were greater for cows assigned to 8-d IMM ceftiofur (11.1 d) than for cows assigned to 2-d (6.9 d) or cows assigned to negative control (5.6 d). Bacteriological cure (BC) at 14 and 21 d after enrollment was greater in cows assigned to 8-d (89%) and 2-d (84%) treatment than in cows assigned to negative control (67%), but this outcome was confounded by pathogen. For CM caused by Kleb. pneumoniae, BC was greater for quarters assigned to receive treatment (combined 2-d and 8-d groups; 74% BC) than for quarters assigned to negative control (18%). In contrast, no differences in BC were observed for CM caused by E. coli (97-98%). Culling and voluntary dry-off of affected quarters were significantly greater for cows with quarters affected by Kleb. pneumoniae (22% culled, 39% voluntary dry-off of quarters) than for cows with quarters affected with E. coli (7% culled, 11% voluntary dry-off of quarters). Overall, use of IMM ceftiofur did not result in improvement of most clinical outcomes, but differences between E. coli and Kleb. pneumoniae were evident. In contrast to E. coli, Kleb. pneumoniae caused chronic intramammary infection and induced worse clinical outcomes. Intramammary antibiotic treatment of most mild and moderate cases of CM caused by E. coli is not necessary, but more research is needed to identify which quarters affected by Kleb. pneumoniae may benefit from antimicrobial therapy.

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