Understanding Mastitis in Goats (II): Microbiological Diagnosis and Somatic Cells Count

  • Hélder QuintasEmail author
  • Gisele Margatho
  • Vicente Rodríguez-Estévez
  • Rocío Jiménez-Granado
  • João Simões


Mastitis control plans include not only mastitis treatment but particularly intramammary infection diagnosis mainly caused by bacteria. Microbiological diagnosis and SCC should be used together, representing the best practice for a proper diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of mastitis. The detection and identification of bacteria are done by bacterial cultures and complemented by detection of specific bacterial DNA fragments using the more recent PCR techniques. Both methods show intrinsic advantages and limitations regarding the milk sample techniques and the bacterial species present in the mammary gland. So, SCC, as a tool of indirect mastitis detection measuring inflammation indicators, acquires a great importance. However, goats produce a more physiological number of somatic cells than other domestic ruminant species. Other than an inflammatory response to milk pathogens, SCC varies according to several noninflammatory intrinsic (e.g., lactation phase and parity of females) and extrinsic (e.g., milking procedures) factors. Consequently, a SCC threshold differentiating infected from noninfected goats should be taken into account and carefully used and interpreted for udder health management in farms. This chapter describes all these aspects and the laboratorial and field particularities that should be taken into consideration to diagnosis mastitis in goats properly.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hélder Quintas
    • 1
    Email author
  • Gisele Margatho
    • 2
  • Vicente Rodríguez-Estévez
    • 3
  • Rocío Jiménez-Granado
    • 3
  • João Simões
    • 2
  1. 1.Mountain Research Centre (CIMO), ESA, Polytechnic Institute of Bragança (IPB)BragançaPortugal
  2. 2.Department of Veterinary Sciences, Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences SchoolUniversity of Trás-os-Montes and Alto DouroVila RealPortugal
  3. 3.Department of Animal ProductionUniversity of CórdobaCórdobaSpain

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