DOI: 10.2478/contagri-2023-0023 ISSN: 2466-4774

Analysis of the Somatic Cell Pattern in Mastitis - Affected Cows on Three Dairy Farms in Vojvodina

Nadežda Tešin, Miodrag Radinović, Dragana Tomanić, Zoran Ružić, Jovan Stanojević, Ivan Galić, Zorana Kovačević
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Immunology
  • Immunology and Allergy


Somatic cells (SCs) in milk, which include epithelial cells from the gland and blood cells, are present in milk during the normal course of milking. Increase in SCs is found in mastitis-affected dairy cows and can be a useful indicator for estimating mammary health and milk quality worldwide. The aim of this study was to determine whether there was a pattern of somatic cell count (SCC) in mastitis-affected cows on three different farms. The study was conducted on three dairy farms of high milk-producing cattle breeds in Vojvodina during 2021. Samples were taken from 15 cows from each farm, all of the cows being diagnosed with clinical and subclinical mastitis. The SCC in milk samples was determined by the microscopic reference method according to the standard (SRPS EN ISO 13366-1:2010) of the Institute for Standardization of Serbia. The value of SCC was considered as high if >200.000 cells/mL, as this is the threshold indicating secretion disorder. In order to examine the differences between the observed three farms, one-factor analysis of variance (ANOVA) was applied, while a post-hoc LSD test was used for determination of statistically significant differences between the SCC in cows on three different farms. The mean values of the SCC on Farms 1, 2 and 3 were 7,055,266.67, 2,619,893.33 and 552,000 cells/mL, respectively. Based on the results, a statistically significant difference (p<0.05) was established between Farms 1 and 2, as well as between Farms 1 and 3, while there was no statistically significant difference between Farms 2 and 3. Apart from mastitis, differences in the SCC on the farms could also be influenced by the cows’ productivity, parity, lactation stage and breed, as well as poor management practices. Besides mastitis control, better hygiene and proper nutrition can help in reducing SCs in milk. In conclusion, establishing SCs pattern can provide useful information that may contribute to reducing SCs and developing differential SCs standards to help obtain milk with low SCs and consequently better dairy products with a longer shelf life.

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