Uncovering the prevalence of species-specific coagulase-negative staphylococci causing intramammary infection in Canadian herds

Udder health is a continuous challenge and an endless concern for dairy producers across the globe. It impacts milk production, milk quality and public health. In Canada, losses due to mastitis exceeded CAD$ 400 million in the early 2000s and figured as one of the main causes of dairy cow culling and antibiotic use.

Large improvements in the control of contagious pathogens were achieved over the years, mostly in herds in developed countries; however, they lead to a proportional increase in other pathogens that cause intramammary infection (IMI). Nowadays, a group of bacteria known as Coagulase-negative staphylococci (CNS) represents 10 to 50% of infected quarters, usually causing mild cases of clinical mastitis or chronic subclinical mastitis. Therefore, considerable effort is being applied to understand this group and the species within it.

At the University of Calgary, a team led by Herman Barkema and Jeroen De Buck is dedicated to investigate aspects of CNS IMI. Since 2013, I am involved in