Precision and Accuracy of Cow Side Tests for Quarter SCC

cow

RESEARCHERS: Heidi Rossow and Maria Marco, UC Davis

TIMELINE: July 2020 to December 2021

BACKGROUND: The use of selective dry cow treatment could eliminate up to 60 percent of antibiotics used for dry cows without adversely affecting milk production or health outcomes. Cow side tests that predict somatic cell counts (SCC) are quick, and relatively cheap compared to milk cultures and the cost of blanket therapies. However, there are very few studies that examine the sensitivity and specificity of these tests and to this date, no study has used the same samples and conditions.

OBJECTIVE: To determine which cow-side tests are better predictors of individual quarter SCC for reduced treatment of non-infected quarters, reduce antibiotic use, and decrease costs associated with mammary treatments at cessation of milking.

INDUSTRY BENEFIT: Using a cow side test that can identify mammary quarters with high SCC will reduce treatment of non-infected quarters, reduce antibiotic use, and decrease costs associated with mammary treatments at cessation. Help dairy producers target their dry-cow therapies specifically to benefit the cow without increasing antibiotic use. This will meet the goals of the consumer and help maintain confidence in milk as a healthy wholesome food while reducing costs due to treating high somatic cell count cows.

This project is co-funded with a California dairy processor.