The relationship between teat characteristics and intramammary infection (IMI) was investigated in 111 cows. These cows were scored visually on teat shape, teat-end shape and teat pigmentation. Subsequently, foremilk quarter samples were collected weekly for 14 weeks from calving to assess bacterial presence and somatic cell count (SCC). Teat shape and teat-end shape were combined and termed teat type. The distribution of teat type was cylindrical- round (34%), funnel-round (21%), cylindrical-flat (16%) and bottle-round (9%). Approximately 44% of teats were fully pigmented (black/brown) while 25% of teats were pigmented over less than 20% of the surface area. The frequency of quarters that never became infected during the trial period was 78.4% and the mean SCC was 69,000 cells mL-1. Among the infected quarters, the most frequently isolated pathogens were Corynebacterium bovis (45%), coagulase negative staphylococci (CNS) (43%) and Streptococcus uberis (6%). Analyses showed no associations between teat characteristics and quarters not becoming infected, or between teat characteristics and bacterial pathogens in infected quarters.
Proceedings of the New Zealand Society of Animal Production, Volume 64, Hamilton, 147-149, 2004
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