Strep. uberis is a leading cause of mastitis worldwide, but is it an environmental or contagious pathogen?

The answer is both, says Ruth Zadoks of Cornell University’s Department of Food Science. That’s because of differences in dairy management and the fact that individual bacterial strains operate differently. Only treating it as an environmental pathogen results in contagious mastitis problems that can be prevented.

Therefore, the best management advice remains to disinfect teats post-milking, practice dry-cow therapy, treat or cull infected lactating cows and properly maintain milking equipment, notes Zadoks. This doesn’t eliminate all S. uberis mastitis, but it does help control cow-to-cow transmission and prevent outbreaks, she says. This conclusion was reported at the National Mastitis Council’s annual meeting recently.