Dutch Udder Health Center

AA, Netherlands

Dutch Udder Health Center

AA, Netherlands
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Ploegaert T.C.W.,Cell Biology and Immunology Group | Ploegaert T.C.W.,Animal Breeding and Genomics Center | Tijhaar E.,Cell Biology and Immunology Group | Lam T.J.G.M.,Dutch Udder Health Center | And 5 more authors.
Veterinary Immunology and Immunopathology | Year: 2011

Innate immunity plays an important role in preventing (barrier function) or combating infection (effector function). An important humoral component of innate immunity is formed by natural antibodies (NAb). The objectives of this study were to determine presence, variation among cows and repeatability within cows over time of total NAb titers directed to the pathogen-associated molecular patterns lipopolysaccharide, lipoteichoic acid (LTA) and peptidoglycan, and titers of NAb directed to the glycoprotein keyhole limpet hemocyanin in milk and plasma of individual cows. Furthermore in milk the antibody isotypes IgG1, IgG2, IgM and IgA binding LTA were analyzed. Ten milk and blood samples were obtained from each of 20 clinically healthy dairy cows from first to seventh parity during a period of 3 weeks. Total NAb binding lipopolysaccharide, LTA, peptidoglycan, and keyhole limpet hemocyanin were detected in milk and plasma, with titers considerably higher in plasma than in milk. Total NAb titers showed significant variation among cows, and repeatability within cows over time (ranging from 0.60 to 0.93). Titers of NAb in milk and plasma were positively correlated (correlation ranging from 0.69 to 0.91). Natural antibodies in milk binding LTA were of all 4 isotypes tested, although IgG2 was on average only present at low titers. All 4 isotypes in milk binding LTA also showed variation among cows, and repeatability within cows over time (ranging from 0.84 to 0.92). We conclude that NAb can be measured in a consistent and repeatable manner in bovine milk and blood plasma. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.


Van Asseldonk M.A.P.M.,Wageningen University | Renes R.J.,Wageningen University | Lam T.J.G.M.,Dutch Udder Health Center | Hogeveen H.,University Utrecht
Veterinary Record | Year: 2010

A survey of dairy farmers assessed whether they were aware of the potential production and economic benefits of adopting and implementing efficient practices to control somatic cell count (SCC), and whether providing them with additional information on projected economic losses on a regular basis might motivate them to implement enhanced control programmes. In-depth interviews revealed that the majority of the dairy farmers perceived cow-specific and herd-specific projected losses due to elevated SCCs, as not very relevant to them. Farmers considered that SCC was already monitored regularly at individual cow level, which provided them with adequate information to support decision-making. The farmers justified their actions with regard to SCC control in terms of their intention to manage the problem, and their belief in whether their efforts would be successful. Actions were rationalised in a specific context comprising the intertwined notions of intentions and efficacy beliefs.


Hogeveen H.,Wageningen University | Hogeveen H.,University Utrecht | Huijps K.,University Utrecht | Huijps K.,Crv Inc. | Lam T.J.G.M.,Dutch Udder Health Center
New Zealand Veterinary Journal | Year: 2011

Good udder health is not only important for the dairy farmer but, because of increasing interest of consumers in the way dairy products are produced, also for the dairy production chain as a whole. An important role of veterinarians is in advising on production diseases such as mastitis. A large part of this advice is given around the planning of management to maintain or improve the udder health status of a farm. Mastitis is a costly disease, due to losses (a reduction of output due to mastitis) and expenditure (additional inputs to reduce the level of mastitis). Worldwide, published estimates of the economic losses of clinical mastitis range from €61 to €97 per cow on a farm, with large differences between farms, e.g. in The Netherlands, losses due to clinical and subclinical mastitis varied between €17 and €198 per cow per year. Moreover, farmers tended to underestimate these costs. This indicates that for a large proportion of farms there are many avoidable losses. In order to provide good support to farmers' decision-making, it is important to describe the mastitis setting not only in terms of disease, e.g. incidence of clinical mastitis, but also in monetary terms; and to make good decisions, it is necessary to provide the dairy farmer with information on the additional expenditure and reduced losses associated with alternative decisions. Six out of 18 preventive measures were shown to have a positive nett benefit, viz blanket use of dry-cow therapy, keeping cows standing after milking, back-flushing of the milk cluster after milking a cow with clinical mastitis, application of a treatment protocol, washing dirty udders, and the use of milkers' gloves. For those measures that included a large amount of routine labour or investment, the reduced losses did not outweigh the additional expenditure. The advisor cannot expect that measures that are cost-effective are always implemented. Reasons for this are the objectives of the dairy farmer can be other than maximisation of profit, resources to improve the mastitis situation compete with other fields of management, risk involved with the decision, economic behaviour of the dairy farmer, and valuation of the cost factors by the dairy farmer. For all decision-makers this means that, although financial incentives do have an effect on the management of mastitis, it is not always sufficient to show the economic benefits of improved management to induce an improvement of management of mastitis.


van den Borne B.H.P.,University Utrecht | van Schaik G.,GD Animal Health Service | Lam T.J.G.M.,GD Animal Health Service | Lam T.J.G.M.,Dutch Udder Health Center | Nielen M.,University Utrecht
Journal of Dairy Science | Year: 2010

Two linked randomized field trials were performed on 39 herds in the Netherlands to 1) determine therapeutic effects of antimicrobial treatment of recently acquired subclinical mastitis (RASCM) during lactation, 2) evaluate the effect of duration of subclinical mastitis on therapeutic outcome, and 3) identify factors related to the therapeutic success of RASCM. Cows with a first elevated composite somatic cell count (CSCC) after 2 consecutive low CSCC measurements were eligible for enrollment in trial 1 (treatment at the first elevated CSCC). Quarter milk samples were collected to determine bacteriological status for major pathogens and coagulase-negative staphylococci. Cows with one or more culture-positive quarters with a quarter somatic cell count (QSCC) ≥100,000 cells/mL were defined to have RASCM and were randomly assigned treatment or control (no treatment). Untreated cows from trial 1 that had a second elevated CSCC at the next milk recording were eligible for enrollment in trial 2 (treatment at the second elevated CSCC). In trial 2, staphylococci-positive cows (Staphylococcus aureus and coagulase-negative staphylococci) were randomly assigned to treatment or control. Farmers used their own treatment protocols to treat quarters in both trials. Bacteriological cure was defined as absence of the pathogen identified pre-intervention in 2 samples post-intervention; QSCC, CSCC, and milk yield were also analyzed. Hierarchical logistic and linear models were used to determine therapeutic effects and to identify factors related to therapy outcome. Treated quarters had a higher bacteriological cure rate than control quarters for all pathogens in both trials. Treatment resulted in lower QSCC and CSCC, whereas milk yield was not affected by treatment. Bacteriological cure of RASCM was better in quarters with a low QSCC pre-intervention and in coagulase-negative staphylococci-positive quarters. Control quarters with a single culture-positive sample pre-intervention also had a higher bacteriological cure than control quarters with ≥2 culture-positive samples. Time of antimicrobial treatment affected bacteriological cure for penicillin-sensitive Staph. aureus. Bacteriological cure tended to be higher for Staph. aureus after treatment at the first elevated CSCC compared with treatment at the second elevated CSCC. Thus, early treatment of Staph. aureus might be more effective than later treatment. © 2010 American Dairy Science Association.


van den Borne B.H.P.,University Utrecht | Nielen M.,University Utrecht | van Schaik G.,GD Animal Health Service | Melchior M.B.,Wageningen University | And 4 more authors.
Journal of Dairy Science | Year: 2010

Staphylococcus aureus causes a wide range of diseases in multiple species. Some sequence types (ST) are observed in a variety of hosts, whereas other strains are mainly associated with bovine mastitis, suggesting host adaptation. We propose that host adaptation of Staph. aureus may influence bacteriological cure of bovine subclinical mastitis after antimicrobial treatment. To test this hypothesis, multilocus sequence typing was performed on Staph. aureus isolates from 60 treated and 79 untreated control quarters that were obtained from well-defined cohorts of dairy cows from a recently conducted randomized field trial on early treatment of subclinical mastitis. Bovine-associated ST were distinguished from non-bovine-associated ST based on the literature and public databases. The association between host adaptation and bacteriological cure was investigated using population-averaged logistic regression models. Thirteen ST were identified, with approximately 80% of isolates belonging to bovine-associated ST. The odds for cure were around 2.5 times as high for non-bovine-associated ST as for bovine ST in treated quarters, whereas no difference in spontaneous cure was observed in untreated control quarters. In addition, host adaptation was related to known predictors of cure, such as penicillin susceptibility and somatic cell count. All isolates belonging to non-bovine-associated ST were resistant to penicillin, whereas the majority of isolates belonging to bovine-associated ST were penicillin susceptible. Penicillin-resistant bovine-associated strains were associated with high somatic cell counts compared with other strains. The correlation between penicillin resistance, cell counts, and host adaptation may affect the association between host adaptation and cure. For diagnostic purposes, a simple and fast alternative to multilocus sequence typing of Staph. aureus to determine host adaptation may be valuable. © 2010 American Dairy Science Association.


Sampimon O.,GD Animal Health Service | Van Den Borne B.H.,University Utrecht | Santman-Berends I.,GD Animal Health Service | Barkema H.W.,University of Calgary | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Dairy Research | Year: 2010

The effect was quantified of coagulase-negative staphylococci (CNS) intramammary infections on quarter- and cow-level somatic cell count (SCC) and on bulk milk somatic cell count (BMSCC) in different BMSCC cohorts in Dutch dairy herds. Two datasets were used for this purpose. In the first dataset, on 49 randomly selected dairy farms a total of 4220 quarter milk samples of 1072 cows were collected of all cows and heifers with a test-day SCC ≥ 250 000 and ≥ 150 000 cells/ml, respectively, and of 25% of cows and heifers below these thresholds. In the second dataset, on 39 selected dairy farms a total of 8329 quarter milk samples of 2115 cows were collected of all cows with a test-day SCC ≥ 250 000 cells/ml following two consecutive SCC <250 000 cells/ml, and of heifers using the same SCC criteria but with a threshold of 150 000 cells/ml. These cows and heifers were defined as new high SCC. In both datasets, CNS was the most frequently isolated pathogen, 11% in the first dataset and 12% in the second dataset. In both datasets, quarters with CNS IMI had a lower SCC than quarters infected with major pathogens, and a higher SCC than culture-negative quarters. The same was found for SCC at cow level. Coagulase-negative staphylococci were more often found in quarters with SCC ≥ 200 000 cells/ml in dairy farms with a BMSCC <150 000 cells/ml compared with dairy farms with a higher BMSCC. Prevalence of CNS in cows and heifers with a high SCC was higher in dairy farms with a BMSCC <150 000 cells/ml compared with dairy farms with a medium or high BMSCC: 30, 19 and 18%, respectively. This indicates that CNS IMI as a cause of subclinical mastitis is relatively more important in dairy farms with a low BMSCC and may become a point of attention in udder health management on that type of farm. © 2010 Proprietors of Journal of Dairy Research.


van den Borne B.H.P.,University Utrecht | van Schaik G.,GD Animal Health Service | Lam T.J.G.M.,GD Animal Health Service | Lam T.J.G.M.,Dutch Udder Health Center | Nielen M.,University Utrecht
Preventive Veterinary Medicine | Year: 2010

Composite somatic cell count data from the national test day recording and reported cases of farmer diagnosed clinical mastitis were used to estimate the occurrence of mastitis from July 2004 to June 2005 in primi- and multiparae in the Netherlands. Herds had to participate in the test day recording and had to have at least 50 cows. A random selection of 396 of these dairy herds provided composite somatic cell count data, while 205 dairy herds additionally reported on clinical mastitis cases. Prevalence of subclinical mastitis was calculated per herd as the proportion of cows with somatic cell count >200,000. cells/ml. The incidence rate to clinical mastitis was calculated as the number of clinical mastitis cases divided by the number of cow days at risk per herd. Negative binomial models were used to correct for overdispersion. Mean herd level subclinical mastitis prevalence was 12.8% (95% CI: 12.2-13.5%) in primi- and 27.1% (95% CI: 26.2-28.1%) in multiparae. Mean herd level clinical mastitis cases were observed 20.2 (95% CI: 18.3-22.4) and 39.6 (95% CI: 37.1-42.3) times per 100 cow-years at risk, respectively. Some herds had a high mastitis occurrence in one parity group, while it was low in the other. Parity-specific monitoring is needed to identify such herds. © 2010 Elsevier B.V.


Van den Borne B.H.P.,University Utrecht | Vernooij J.C.M.,University Utrecht | Lupindu A.M.,Wageningen University | van Schaik G.,GD Animal Health Service | And 4 more authors.
Preventive Veterinary Medicine | Year: 2011

High composite somatic cell counts (CSCC) in dairy cows may develop into clinical mastitis (CM), suggesting that prevention or intervention of high CSCC may prevent CM later in lactation. The objective of this study was to quantify the relationship between high CSCC in dairy cows and the first subsequent case of CM in the same lactation. Farmer-diagnosed cases of CM and test day CSCC measurements during 1 year of 13,917 cows in 196 randomly selected Dutch dairy herds were available for analysis. Cows were followed in 1 lactation from the first test day postpartum until CM, drying off, culling or end of study. Cox proportional hazards models with time-varying CSCC levels were used to estimate the effect of high CSCC (≥200,000. cells/ml) on the time until the first case of CM. A shared frailty effect was included to adjust for clustering of cows within herds. The proportion of cows developing CM after a CSCC measurement was 11%. Primiparae with a high CSCC had a 4-fold higher hazard for subsequent CM than primiparae with a low CSCC; multiparae with a high CSCC had a 2-fold higher hazard than multiparae with a low CSCC. Additionally, multiparae with a low CSCC had a 2-fold higher hazard for CM occurrence than primiparae with a low CSCC. Increasing the threshold for high CSCC showed that the risk for CM increased. If the last CSCC before CM was low, CSCC information of 2 preceding test days was more predictive than CSCC information from only the last test day. When the last CSCC was high, CSCC information of 2 preceding test days did not have added predictive value. This study identified that approximately 25% of first subsequent CM cases after a CSCC measurement can potentially be prevented when cows are prevented to get high CSCC or when high CSCC cows are removed from the population. This corresponded with a decrease in the proportion of lactating cows with CM after a CSCC measurement from 11% to 7%. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.


Jansen J.,Wageningen University | van Schaik G.,GD Animal Health Service Ltd. | Renes R.J.,Wageningen University | Lam T.J.G.M.,GD Animal Health Service Ltd. | Lam T.J.G.M.,Dutch Udder Health Center
Journal of Dairy Science | Year: 2010

Over the years, much effort has been put into implementing mastitis control programs in herds. To further improve utilization of such programs, there needs to be an understanding of the attitudes, knowledge, and behavior of farmers regarding udder health, and the way this can be influenced by mastitis control programs. This study aimed to explore the effect of a national mastitis control program on Dutch farmers' attitudes, knowledge, and behavior regarding mastitis. A total of 378 dairy farmers completed a survey on attitudes, knowledge, and behavior regarding mastitis before the start of a national mastitis control program in 2004, and 204 completed a similar survey in the final year of the program (2009). Although the average annual bulk milk somatic cell count (BMSCC) remained the same, the farmers' self-reported attitudes, knowledge, and behavior changed significantly. The problem level of BMSCC decreased from 285,000 cells/mL in 2004 to 271,000 cells/mL in 2009. More farmers perceived that they had sufficient knowledge about the prevention of mastitis (34% in 2004 vs. 53% in 2009) and they more often perceived that they knew the cause of a mastitis problem (25% in 2004 vs. 37% in 2009). The use of gloves for milking increased from 15 to 46%, the use of a standardized mastitis treatment protocol increased from 7 to 34%, and freestalls were cleaned more often (2.28 vs. 2.51 times/d) in 2009 compared with 2004. Most changes in attitudes, knowledge, and behavior did not differ between groups of dairy farmers whose herds had an initially low (≤162,000 cells/mL), medium (163,000 to 205,000 cells/mL), or high (>206,000 cells/mL) BMSCC. The high BMSCC group significantly decreased their annual BMSCC level by 15,000 cells/mL. Regression analysis showed that the decrease in BMSCC was associated with a change in farmers' perceptions (e.g., increased perceived knowledge about the effect of the milking machine on mastitis) and with a change in certain management practices (e.g., disinfecting all teats after milking). The results showed that a national mastitis control program affected the attitudes, knowledge, and behavior of farmers regarding mastitis and could contribute to udder health improvement in the long term. © 2010 American Dairy Science Association.


Ploegaert T.C.W.,Wageningen University | Wijga S.,Wageningen University | Tijhaar E.,Wageningen University | van der Poel J.J.,Wageningen University | And 4 more authors.
Journal of Dairy Science | Year: 2010

Defense mechanisms of dairy cows against diseases partly rest on their naturally present disease resistance capacity. Natural antibodies (NAb) form a soluble part of the innate immune system, being defined as antibodies circulating in animals without prior intentional antigenic stimulation. Genetic selection on NAb titers in milk, therefore, might improve disease resistance. We estimated genetic parameters of NAb titers binding lipopolysaccharide, lipoteichoic acid (LTA), peptidoglycan, and keyhole limpet hemocyanin, and titers of the NAb isotypes IgG1, IgM, and IgA binding LTA in milk of Dutch Holstein-Friesian heifers. Natural antibody titers were measured in 1 milk sample from each of 1,939 Holstein-Friesian heifers and used for estimating genetic parameters of NAb titers. The data show that phenotypic variation exists among heifers in NAb titers binding lipopolysaccharide, LTA, peptidoglycan, and keyhole limpet hemocyanin, and the NAb isotypes IgG1, IgM, and IgA binding LTA in milk. High genetic correlations among NAb (ranging from 0.45 to 0.99) indicated a common genetic basis for the levels of different NAb in bovine milk. Intra-herd heritability estimates for NAb ranged from 0.10 to 0.53. The results indicated that NAb levels have potential for genetic selection. © 2010 American Dairy Science Association.

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