Tropical Animal Health and Production

, Volume 46, Issue 7, pp 1105–1112 | Cite as

Risk factors for bovine mastitis in the Central Province of Sri Lanka

  • Suraj Gunawardana
  • Dulari Thilakarathne
  • Indra S. Abegunawardana
  • Preeni Abeynayake
  • Colin Robertson
  • Craig Stephen
Regular Articles


A study of the risk factors associated with mastitis in Sri Lankan dairy cattle was conducted to inform risk reduction activities to improve the quality and quantity of milk production and dairy farmer income. A cross-sectional survey of randomly selected dairy farms was undertaken to investigate 12 cow and 39 herd level and management risk factors in the Central Province. The farm level prevalence of mastitis (clinical and subclinical) was 48 %, similar to what has been found elsewhere in South and Southeast Asia. Five cow level variables, three herd level variables, and eight management variables remained significant (p < 0.05) in the final logistic regression analysis. Expected risk factors relating to unhygienic environments and inadequate knowledge or practice of mastitis control were found. Other factors included parity, milk yield, milking practices, access to veterinary services, use of veterinary products, stall structure, and stall hygiene. Many of the risk factors could be addressed by standard dairy cattle management techniques, but implementation of mastitis control programs as a technical approach is likely to be insufficient to achieve sustainable disease control without consideration of the social and political realities of smallholder farmers, who are often impoverished.


Cattle Epidemiology Mastitis Risk Sri Lanka Dairy 



We wish to thank the dairy farmers of Sri Lanka for their cooperation. This paper has been based on work supported by from the Global Health Research Initiative, a collaborative research funding partnership of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Canadian International Development Agency, Health Canada, the International Development Research Centre, and the Public Health Agency of Canada.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Suraj Gunawardana
    • 1
  • Dulari Thilakarathne
    • 1
  • Indra S. Abegunawardana
    • 2
  • Preeni Abeynayake
    • 1
  • Colin Robertson
    • 4
  • Craig Stephen
    • 3
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of Pharmacology and Public Health, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Animal ScienceUniversity of PeradeniyaPeradeniyaSri Lanka
  2. 2.Department of Basic Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Animal ScienceUniversity of PeradeniyaPeradeniyaSri Lanka
  3. 3.Department of Ecosystem and Public Health. Faculty of Veterinary MedicineUniversity of CalgaryCalgaryCanada
  4. 4.Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, Faculty of ArtsWilfred Laurier UniversityWaterlooCanada
  5. 5.Centre for Coastal HealthNanaimoBritish Columbia

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