Antibiotic use at Cessation of Milking on Milk Quality


RESEARCHERS: Maria Marco and Heidi Rossow, UC Davis

TIMELINE: January 2019 to June 2021

BACKGROUND: Bovine mastitis is a potentially fatal mammary gland infection and is the most common disease in dairy cattle in the U.S. and worldwide. Dairy producers are always looking for ways to reduce the incidence of this disease while at the same time minimizing the costs of prevention programs. In addition, regulatory pressure to reduce antibiotic use has increased in recent years due to the potential negative effects of antibiotics on health and the worries over the development of antibiotic resistance.

OBJECTIVE: To determine whether antibiotic use at dry-off negatively impacts mammary immune function and microbiome composition in cows with low somatic cell counts. The researchers also aim to identify potentially beneficial bacteria that might be used as future alternatives to antibiotics.

INDUSTRY BENEFIT: This study will provide proof of concept for the targeted use of antibiotic use at dry-off. Dry-cow therapies can be more specifically applied to benefit the cow while reducing overall antibiotic use and reduce costs due to selectively treating high somatic cell count cows.