, Volume 16, Issue 4, pp 383-407

Mastitis Therapy and Antimicrobial Susceptibility: a Multispecies Review with a Focus on Antibiotic Treatment of Mastitis in Dairy Cattle

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Mastitis occurs in numerous species. Antimicrobial agents are used for treatment of infectious mastitis in dairy cattle, other livestock, companion animals, and humans. Mastitis is an economically important disease of dairy cattle and most mastitis research has focused on epidemiology and control of bovine mastitis. Antibiotic treatment of clinical and subclinical mastitis in dairy cattle is an established component of mastitis control programs. Research on the treatment of clinical and subclinical mastitis in other dairy species such as sheep and goats has been less frequent, although the general principles of mastitis therapy in small ruminants are similar to those of dairy cattle. Research on treatment of clinical mastitis in humans is limited and as for other species empirical treatment of mastitis appears to be common. While antimicrobial susceptibility testing is recommended to direct treatment decisions in many clinical settings, the use of susceptibility testing for antibiotic selection for mastitis treatments of dairy cattle has been challenged in a number of publications. The principle objective of this review is to summarize the literature evaluating the question, “Does antimicrobial susceptibility predict treatment outcome for intramammary infections caused by common bacterial pathogens?” This review also addresses current issues related to antimicrobial use and treatment decisions for mastitis in dairy cattle. Information on treatment of mastitis in other species, including humans, is included although research appears to be limited. Issues related to study design, gaps in current knowledge and opportunities for future research are identified for bovine mastitis therapy.