National Mastitis Council offers numerous resources

Known around the world for its revered resources, the National Mastitis Council (NMC) disseminates information to the dairy industry on udder health, milking management, milk quality and milk safety. This information comes in a variety of shapes and sizes – from books to webinars to digital tools to evaluation forms to annual meeting and regional meeting proceedings papers.

Current Concepts of Bovine Mastitis
NMC’s longest standing publication is the Current Concepts of Bovine Mastitis. The book debuted in 1963, with revised editions published in 1978, 1987, 1998 and 2016. In its 80 pages, readers learn about basic theories of mastitis control and technologies, and practices used to prevent, treat and manage this costly infection.

In all five editions of this book, NMC included an illustration that shows the interactions among the many agents that can cause mastitis, the host (cow) and the environment. The importance of this interaction is reflected in the fact that the practical control of mastitis is either accomplished by reducing the exposure of the mammary gland to mastitis-causing agents or enhancing the resistance of the cow to the disease.

Current Concepts of Bovine Mastitis includes information, photographs and illustrations regarding intramammary pathogen sources and transmission, the course of mastitis and mastitis control and treatment methods. In addition, it contains the latest practices to help milk quality professionals prevent, control and treat mastitis. The book also includes a glossary and index.

Developed for dairy producers, veterinarians, educators, sanitarians, field personnel and consumers, the first four editions of Current Concepts of Bovine Mastitis were only published in English. In the last four years, the book was translated into three other languages – Mandarin, Japanese and Spanish.

Laboratory Handbook on Bovine Mastitis
The Laboratory Handbook on Bovine Mastitis, first published in 1987, is NMC’s other foundational resource. Revised in 1999 and 2017, the 148-page book targets laboratory diagnosticians, veterinarians, educators, students, researchers, technical specialists and dairy producers. It discusses the basic theories of microbial culture, mastitis diagnosis and pathogens, laboratory procedures and molecular pathogen diagnosis methods. Originally published in English, the book will be available in Spanish later this year.

In the most recent edition, NMC added two new chapters. One addresses molecular techniques. These techniques are the most recent development in pathogen diagnosis and are becoming more accurate in identifying causative organisms by genus and species, as well as strain type. Mycoplasmas are now a separate chapter, instead of being listed with miscellaneous organisms. The other new chapter covers on-farm culture systems.

Microbial culture remains the backbone of mastitis diagnosis. Consequently, microbial culture methods are discussed. The book addresses the advantages and disadvantages of various techniques in terms of accuracy, specificity and sensitivity of detection, cost and turnaround time.

The Laboratory Handbook on Bovine Mastitis includes information, photographs and illustrations regarding sample collection and handling, diagnostic equipment and materials, diagnostic procedures, molecular diagnostics, mastitis pathogens, somatic cell count, bulk tank culture and on-farm culture. Also, the book contains appendices on general isolation media, mycoplasma medium and testing procedures, other media, testing procedures and stains.

Thousands of copies of Current Concepts of Bovine Mastitis and Laboratory Handbook on Bovine Mastitis have been distributed around the world.


Other resources
In addition to these core publications, NMC offers:
  • Procedures for Evaluating Vacuum Levels and Airflow in Milking Systems
  • Milking Systems Evaluation Forms (English and French)
  • Troubleshooting Cleaning Problems in Milking Systems
  • Troubleshooting Cleaning Problems Evaluation Forms
  • Annual Meeting Proceedings
  • Regional Meeting Proceedings

Plus, NMC members can access the Teat Condition Portfolio – a digital tool that allows dairy specialists and personnel to quickly obtain images of various teat conditions. The “cowside” comparison provides quick assessment of environmental, infectious and milking machine-induced teat conditions. Fast assessment may lead to earlier application of the appropriate action or future preventive measures, thus allowing dairy producers to increase profitability.
To learn more about NMC’s publications and/or order a publication(s), go to: https://www.nmconline.org/publications. NMC members receive discounts when ordering NMC publications. To better understand the value of joining NMC, visit: https://www.nmconline.org/membership.
Text and illustrations: JoDee Sattler