Submitted to: International Virtual Conference on Infectious Diseases of Animals
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: April 20, 1997
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Periparturient cows have a high incidence of intramammary infection (IMI) and clinical mastitis caused by coliform bacteria. Susceptibility has been associated with immunosuppression, as well as environmental factors. Increased IMI rates have been correlated with an increased number of coliform bacteria in bedding and the bacterial burden in bedding has been associated with warmer weather and increased moisture. We were interested in whether changes in feed intake and increases in fecal coliform shedding occurred during periods of elevated coliform IMI rates. Fecal coliform shedding was measured in two studies monitoring a total of 12 multiparous Holstein cows. Fecal samples were obtained per rectal palpation 4 weeks prepartum through 2 wks postpartum, serially diluted, plated on MacConkey's agar, and colonies were counted after incubation (18 h). Samples were obtained 3 days/wk and sampling frequency increased to daily as expected calving date approached. In all 12 cows, shedding of coliform bacteria was low to undetectable 4 wks prior to parturition, however, near calving total fecal coliform numbers increased by 10**5-10**8 cfu/g feces.