Transmission dynamics of Staphylococcus aureus within two Danish dairy cattle herds

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C. Kirkeby, L. Zervens, N. Toft, D. Schwarz, Michael Farre, S. Hechinger, T. Halasa

Staphylococcus aureus is a major pathogen causing intramammary infections (IMI) in dairy cattle herds worldwide. Simulation models can be used to investigate the epidemiologic and economic outcomes of different control strategies against IMI. The transmission rate parameter is one of the most influential parameters on the outcomes of these simulation models. Very few studies have estimated the transmission rate parameter and investigated the transmission dynamics of Staph. aureus IMI in dairy cattle herds. The objective of our study was therefore to analyze the transmission dynamics of Staph. aureus in 2 Danish dairy herds participating in a longitudinal study. The 2 herds had 180 and 360 milking cows, and animals were tested at quarter level once per month over a period of 1 yr. We estimated the quarter-level prevalence to be 34% for herd 1 and 2.57% for herd 2. The daily quarter-level transmission rate was estimated to be 0.0132 and 0.0077 cases/quarter-day for herds 1 and 2, respectively, and the median duration of infection was estimated to be 91 and 64 d for herds 1 and 2, respectively. We also estimated the reproductive ratio at 1.21 for herd 1 and 0.52 for herd 2. The results can provide valuable information for simulation models to aid decision-making in terms of the prevention and control of Staph. aureus IMI in dairy cattle herds.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Dairy Science
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)1428–1442
Publication statusPublished - 2019

    Research areas

  • dairy cattle, mastitis, Staphylococcus aureus, transmission dynamics

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