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

Abstract

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.

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Abbreviations

ADD:

agar disc diffusion

AMDUCA:

Animal Medicinal Drug Use Clarification Act

CNS:

coagulase negative staphylococci

FARAD:

Food Animal Residue Avoidance Database

DDD:

defined daily dose

IMI:

intramammary infection

IMM:

intramammary

MIC:

minimum inhibitory concentration

MLST:

multilocus sequence typing

OTC:

over-the-counter

PDS:

post-partum dysgalactiae syndrome

RM:

restriction modification

SCC:

somatic cell count

SSTI:

skin and soft tissue infection

ST:

strain type

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Acknowledgements

The author would like to acknowledge the contributions of the anonymous reviewers in suggesting improvements to this manuscript. Thanks to Dr. Brian Lubbers, DVM PhD and Director of the Microbiology Laboratory, Kansas State Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, for critical comments and recommendations regarding presentation of information on antimicrobial susceptibility testing.

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Barlow, J. Mastitis Therapy and Antimicrobial Susceptibility: a Multispecies Review with a Focus on Antibiotic Treatment of Mastitis in Dairy Cattle. J Mammary Gland Biol Neoplasia 16, 383–407 (2011). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10911-011-9235-z

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Keywords

  • Mastitis
  • Therapy
  • Antimicrobial susceptibility