Prevalence and Risk Factors of Subclinical Mastitis in Iranian Holstein Cows

Document Type : Research Article


Department of Animal Science, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Tabriz, Tabriz, Iran


The present study aimed to estimate the effects of parity, calving season and year of calving on the prevalence of subclinical mastitis in Holstein cows. A total of 2682 records from 869 Holstein cows in a large dairy farm (Azarbaijan province, Iran), respecting the period from 2006 to 2009, were collected. Data was analyzed using Proc Mixed of SAS software by MIVQUE method. Subclinical mastitis was also studied based on three differentmodels including: 1) considering each udder quarter as a separate unit (Udder quarter model), 2) considering all the four udder quarters of a cow as one overall unit (Subclinm model) and 3) considering the sum of positive subclinical mastitis scores in all udder quarters of an animal (Episode model). Diagnosis of subclinical mastitis was based on California Mastitis Test. Results showed that the prevalence of subclinical mastitis was20.83%. The prevalence of cows with only one udder quarter affected by subclinical mastitis was 23.71%. Parity and year of calving significantly affected the prevalence of subclinical mastitis (P>0.001). Older cows with higher parity number had increased prevalence of subclinical mastitis. Therefore, the highest prevalence of subclinical mastitis was observed in cows having number of parities between 5and 11. The lowest subclinical mastitis prevalence (using three mastitis models) was recorded in 2010, whilst its highest prevalence was observed in 2008. Season of calving also significantly influenced subclinical mastitis prevalence (P<0.05): cows calving in autumn had higher prevalence of subclinical mastitis than those calving in the other seasons. Concluding, data from the present study demonstrated thatparity, calving season and year of calving influenced the prevalence of subclinical mastitis on the three mentioned models.


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