ABSTRACT

Bovine mastitis is an inflammation of the mammary gland, most often of infectious origin. It is the most frequent disease of dairy cattle and one of the main reasons for culling dairy cows (Grohn et al., 1998; Hortet & Seegers, 1998; Hovi & Roderick, 1999). Bovine mastitis is also an economic burden for farmers because of decreased milk yield, cost of veterinary treatments, and other factors (Korhonen & Kaartinen, 1995). Dairy farm management focusing on animal health and hygiene improvement program implementation helps to control mastitis. The timely identification of causing microorganisms is necessary to control the disease, reduce the risk of chronic infections, and target the antimicrobial therapy to be used. Also, several studies showed that the early detection of mastitis may increase the cure rate by 60% and reduce the time required to recover normal milk production when combined with appropriate antimicrobial therapy (Milner et al., 1997).