Research finds that sampling technique impacts bacteriological results

Milk samples offer a greater understanding of the different microbial species that cause mastitis. But what if the bacteria found in milk samples are the result of sampling techniques or environment? Dr. Mari Friman, veterinarian and researcher at the University of Helsinki, conducted a study to answer this exact question. She presented her findings at World Buiatrics Congress held in Dublin, Ireland in July of last year.


The purpose, said Friman, was to determine the effect of two different milk sampling techniques on bacteriological results from a PCR mastitis assay. The two techniques evaluated were conventional manual asceptic sampling by milking and an experimental sampling technique that tests the teat canal using a sterile cannula. At the time of the research, Friman said PCR methods were quite new, and they were receiving a lot of samples. Curiously, the PCR samples were showing high numbers of bacteria.

“We noticed there was a quite large amount of Staphylococcus sp. and yeast,” Friman said in a recent interview. “It just wasn’t normal when we used that culture method.”

“We thought maybe there was something with that PCR method or there was something with the sampling technique,” she continued. “We wanted to test that if that sampling technique was the reason for those bacterial results – that there were so

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