Evaluation of milk yield losses associated with Salmonella antibodies in bulk tank milk in bovine dairy herds

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Torben Dahl Nielsen, L. E. Green, Anne Margrethe Braad Kudahl, Søren Østergaard, Liza Rosenbaum Nielsen

The effect of Salmonella on milk production is not well established in cattle. The objective of this study was to investigate whether introduction of Salmonella into dairy cattle herds was associated with reduced milk yield and determine the duration of any such effect. Longitudinal data from 2005 through 2009 were used, with data from 12 mo before until 18 mo after the estimated date of infection. Twenty-eight case herds were selected based on an increase in the level of Salmonella-specific antibodies in bulk-tank milk from <10 corrected optical density percentage (ODC%) to =70 ODC% between 2 consecutive three-monthly measurements in the Danish Salmonella surveillance program. All selected case herds were conventional Danish Holstein herds. Control herds (n = 40) were selected randomly from Danish Holstein herds with Salmonella antibody levels consistently <10 ODC%. A date of herd infection was randomly allocated to the control herds. Hierarchical mixed effect models with the outcome test-day yield of energy-corrected milk (ECM)/cow were used to investigate daily milk yield before and after the estimated herd infection date for cows in parities 1, 2, and 3+. Control herds were used to evaluate whether the effects in the case herds could be reproduced in herds without Salmonella infection.
Herd size, days in milk, somatic cell count, season, and year were included in the models. Yield in first-parity cows was reduced by a mean of 1.4 kg (95% confidence interval: 0.5 to 2.3) of ECM/cow per day from 7 to 15 mo after the estimated herd infection date, compared with that of first-parity cows in the same herds in the 12 mo before the estimated herd infection date. Yield for parity 3+ cows was reduced by a mean of 3.0 kg (95% confidence interval: 1.3 to 4.8) of ECM/cow per day from 7 to 15 mo after herd infection compared with that of parity 3+ cows in the 12 mo before the estimated herd infection. We observed minor differences in yield in second-parity cows before and after
herd infection and observed no difference between cows in control herds before and after the simulated infection date. Milk yield decreased significantly in affected herds and the reduction was detectable several months after the increase in bulk tank milk Salmonella antibodies. It took more than 1 yr for milk yield to return to preinfection levels.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Dairy Science
Issue number9
Pages (from-to)4873-4885
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 2012

ID: 38227587