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Inoculation of the bovine teat duct with Staphylococcus aureus: The relationship of teat duct length, milk yield and milking rate to development of intra-mammary infection



Inoculation of the bovine teat duct with Staphylococcus aureus: The relationship of teat duct length, milk yield and milking rate to development of intra-mammary infection



Can Vet J 9(5): 107-115



Thirty-five teat ducts of 11 cows were inoculated with Staphyloccus aureus on 56 occasions to 3 and/or 4 mm. from their external teat orifices. The number of colony-forming units of staphylococci in the inoculum varied between 17 and 1072. Ten (62. 5 %) of 16 inoculations made to 4 mm. in 10 ducts of 4 cows established intra-mammary infection. Conversely, out of 40 inoculations made to 3 mm. in 29 teat ducts of 9 cows, only 6 (15 %) produced mastitis in 5 quarters of 2 cows. Intramammary infection, independent of the inoculum size and the use of teat disinfectant in the milking schedule, occurred. The lowest number of colony-forming units that evoked inflammation in the quarter following inoculation to 3 mm. was 34. Following inoculation, 7 of 40 noninfected quarters failed to excrete staphylococci at the 1st milking; the remainder shed the organisms quite spasmodically. Not infrequently, the quarter samples became sterile at intermittent milkings. Forty-five per cent of the ducts continued to shed large number of the test organisms up to the 27th milking post-inoculation without inducing concurrent intramammary infection. The infection in the colonized ducts died out spontaneously. At 3 mm., there was correlation between the teat duct length, milk yield and the milking rate, and susceptibility of quarters to mastitis. Intramammary infection occurred only when the quarters possessed all these 3 characteristics in the range < 9. 38 mm., > 1.60 kg. and >0.40 kg. /minute, respectively. Intramammary infection developing from inoculation to 4 mm. in the duct was independent of these characteristics.

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