Comparison of two teat skin sampling methods to quantify teat contamination

  • Maria-F. Hohmann
  • Nicole Wente
  • Yanchao Zhang
  • Doris Klocke
  • Volker Krömker
Keywords: teat end colonization, mastitis pathogens, wet/dry swab technique, dipping technique, microbial load


The aim of this research was to compare two sampling methods quantifying
microbial load on teat ends, especially mastitis pathogens originating
from the cows’ surroundings. Methods were compared using
a split udder design, including 132 teat pairs in the study. For the first
method, the wet/dry swab technique, a moistened swab was rotated
360° around the teat end, followed by a dry swab in the same manner.
For the second and new method, the dipping technique, teat ends
were immersed in a cup filled with Ringer’s solution and were removed
after five seconds. Microbial load per milliliter as well as per teat end
was calculated by determining the number of total aerobic mesophilic
bacteria as well as environmental pathogenic bacteria, including coliform
bacteria and esculin-positive streptococci. The concordance correlation
coefficient (CCC) was used to quantify the agreement between
two series of measurements and revealed the following coefficients:
0.112 for total aerobic mesophilic bacteria; 0.008 for coliform bacteria
and 0.001 for esculin positive streptococci. The results of this study
point out that under field conditions, the new method does not provide
similar results when compared with the wet/dry swab technique
for determining teat end microbial load.


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