UK researchers analyze the cost effectiveness of on-farm cultures

As antimicrobial resistance becomes an issue of international importance, livestock producers and those who work in the livestock industry look for ways to reduce the use of antimicrobials. One method that has gained ground in recent years is the use of on-farm culture (OFC) to selectively treat cases of clinical mastitis. In order for the method to gain further ground, though, producers want to be certain that its use is cost-effective. To answer that question, UK researcher Peter Down, and his colleagues James Breen, Andrew Bradley and Martin Green from the School of Veterinary Medicine and Science at the University of Nottingham used probabilistic analysis to further investigate. Down spoke at the World Buiatrics Congress in Dublin last June, where he said that their aim was to identify scenarios when OFC was likely to be cost effective and, therefore, the types of herds for which an OFC approach could reasonably be recommended.

“There’s been a growing interest in antimicrobial resistance and trying to reduce the antibiotics we use,” said Down. The sector, he continued, is conscious that mastitis accounts for a high amount of the