Tropical Animal Health and Production

, Volume 36, Issue 6, pp 581–592 | Cite as

Risk Indicators Associated with Subclinical Mastitis in Smallholder Dairy Cows in Tanzania

  • F.M. Kivaria
  • J.P.T.M. Noordhuizen
  • A.M. Kapaga


Smallholder dairy farmers in Tanzania appear to be unaware of the subclinical mastitis situation in their cows. A cross-sectional study was carried out between June and September 2002 on smallholder dairy herds in the Dar es Salaam region. The study objectives were to establish the prevalence of subclinical mastitis and related risk indicators, and to assess their contribution to the occurrence of subclinical mastitis. Three field procedures based on the principles of herd health and production management were followed: clinical, farm and data inspection. The California mastitis test (CMT) was carried out on quarter milk samples to determine the prevalence of subclinical mastitis. A total of 182 lactating cows from 62 herds were investigated. Clinical inspection indicated that 3.8% of the lactating cows had clinical mastitis. Subclinical mastitis was detected in 90.3% of lactating cows screened. Farm inspection revealed that water scarcity, barn size, residual suckling, single udder-towel and dairy labourers as the most substantial (p<0.05) risk indicators. Although most of the risk indicators studied were not found to be statistically significantly associated with the occurrence of subclinical mastitis, possibly owing to sample size and the presence of confounders, the epidemiological need to address such risk indicators cannot be overemphasized.

clinical mastitis subclinical mastitis smallholder dairy cattle risk indicators Tanzania 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Brand, A., Noordhuizen, J.P.TM. and Schukken, Y.H., 2001. Herd health and production management. In: Dairy Practice, 3rd edn (Wageningen Pers Publ., Wageningen, The Netherlands), 351-415Google Scholar
  2. Atwill, ER., Mohammed, H.O., Scarlett, J.M. and McCulloch, C.E., 1995. Extending the interpretation and utility of mixed effects logistic regression models. Preventive Veterinary Medicine, 24, 187-201Google Scholar
  3. Dutta. G.N., Saxena, R.K. and Buragohan, J., 1995. Economic implications of treatment of lactating cows for subclinical mastitis, Indian Veterinary Journal, 72, 420-422Google Scholar
  4. Hogan, S.J., Gonzalez, R.N., Harmon, JR., Nickerson, S.C., Oliver, S.P., Pankey, J.W. and Smith, L.K. 1999. Laboratory Handbook on Bovine Mastitis, (National Mastitis Council, Inc., WD. Hoard and Sons Co., Fort Atkinson, TX, USA)Google Scholar
  5. Hosmer D.W. and Lemeshow, S., 1989. Applied Logistic Regression, (Wiley-Interscience, New York), 83-134Google Scholar
  6. Kapaga, A.M., Weinhaupl, I. and Baumann, M.P.O., 1995. Risk indicators and mastitis prevalence in dairy cattle in the region of Dar Er Salaam, Tanzania. In: Livestock Production and Diseases, Prceedings of the 8th Conference, (Institute of Tropical Veterinary Medicine, Berlin)Google Scholar
  7. Kinabo, L.D.B. and Assey, R.J., 1983. Bovine mastitis in selected dairy farms in Morogoro district in Tanzania, Beitrage trop. Landwirtsch. Veterinarmed, 21, 65-71Google Scholar
  8. Lam, T.J.G.M., van Vliet, J.H., Schukken, Y.H., Grommers, F.J., van Velden-Russcher, A., Barkema, H.W. and Brand, A., 1997. The effect of discontinuation of post milking teat disinfection in low somatic cell count herds. I. Incidence of clinical mastitis. Veterinary Quarterly, 19, 41-47PubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. Martin, S.W., Meek, A.H. and Willeberg, P., 1987. Veterinary Epidemiology. Principles and Methods, (Iowa State University Press, Ames, IA), 32 Google Scholar
  10. Murin. D.F., Shanks, R.D. and McCoy, G.C., 1998. Comparison of antibiotic administration in conjunction with supportive measures versus supportive measures alone for treatment of dairy cows with clinical mastitis. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, 213, 676-684PubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. NMC, 2003. Information and resources. http:/ / (National Mastitis Council, Fort Atkinson, TX, USA)Google Scholar
  12. Omore, A.O., McDermott, J.J., Arimi, S.M., Kyule, M.N. and Ouma, D., 1996. A longitudinal study of milk somatic cell counts and bacterial culture from cows on smallholder dairy farms in Kiambu district, Kenya. Preventive Veterinary Medicine, 29, 77-89Google Scholar
  13. Omore, A.O., McDermott, J.J., Arimi, S.M. and Kyule, M.N., 1999. Impact of mastitis control measures on milk production and mastitis indicators in smallholder dairy farms in Kiambu district, Kenya. Tropical Animal Health and Production, 31, 347-361PubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. Phiri, E.C.J.H., Pereka, A.E., Mgasa, M.N. and Larsen, T., 1998. Clinical mastitis and bacteria isolates in dairy cows at ASAS dairy farm Iringa, Tanzania. Tanzania Veterinary Journal, 18, 173-179Google Scholar
  15. Schukken, Y.H., Erb, H.N., Sears, P.M. and Smith, R.D., 1988. Ecologic study of the risk indicators for environmental mastitis in cows. American Journal of Veterinary Research, 49, 766-769PubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. Schukken, Y.H., Grommers, F.J., van de Greer, D., Erb, H.N. and Brand, A., 1991. Risk factor for clinical mastitis in herds with a low bulk milk somatic cell count. 2. Risk factor for Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus. Journal of Dairy Science, 24, 826-832Google Scholar
  17. Schukken, Y.H., Lam, TJ., Nielen, M., Hogeveen, H., Barkema, H.W. and Grommers, F.J., 1995. Subclinical mastitis on dairy farms in the Netherlands: epidemiological developments (in Dutch). Tijdschrift van Diergeneeskunde. 120, 208-213Google Scholar
  18. SPSS Inc, 2002. SPSSfor Windows, release 11.5.0, http:/ /www.spss.comGoogle Scholar
  19. Workineh, S., Bayleyegn, M., Mekonnen, H. and Potgieter, L.N.D., 2002. Prevalence and aetiology of mastitis in cows from two major Ethiopian dairies. Tropical Animal Health and Production, 34, 19-25PubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • F.M. Kivaria
    • 1
  • J.P.T.M. Noordhuizen
    • 2
  • A.M. Kapaga
    • 1
  1. 1.Population StudiesAnimal Diseases Research InstituteDar es SalaamTanzania
  2. 2.Department of Farm Animal HealthFaculty of Veterinary Medicine, Utrecht UniversityUtrechtThe Netherlands

Personalised recommendations