Prevalence of coagulase-positive staphylococci, other than Staphylococcus aureus, in bovine mastitis

Jerry R. Roberson From the Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences, Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine, Virginia Technological Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA 24061-0442 (Roberson), and Departments of Veterinary Clinical Sciences (Fox, Hancock, Gay) and Veterinary Micropathology (Besser), Washington State University, Pullman, WA 99164-6610.

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Lawrence K. Fox From the Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences, Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine, Virginia Technological Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA 24061-0442 (Roberson), and Departments of Veterinary Clinical Sciences (Fox, Hancock, Gay) and Veterinary Micropathology (Besser), Washington State University, Pullman, WA 99164-6610.

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Dale D. Hancock From the Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences, Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine, Virginia Technological Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA 24061-0442 (Roberson), and Departments of Veterinary Clinical Sciences (Fox, Hancock, Gay) and Veterinary Micropathology (Besser), Washington State University, Pullman, WA 99164-6610.

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John M. Gay From the Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences, Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine, Virginia Technological Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA 24061-0442 (Roberson), and Departments of Veterinary Clinical Sciences (Fox, Hancock, Gay) and Veterinary Micropathology (Besser), Washington State University, Pullman, WA 99164-6610.

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Thomas E. Besser From the Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences, Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine, Virginia Technological Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA 24061-0442 (Roberson), and Departments of Veterinary Clinical Sciences (Fox, Hancock, Gay) and Veterinary Micropathology (Besser), Washington State University, Pullman, WA 99164-6610.

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Abstract

Objective

To determine prevalence and relevance of coagulase-positive Staphylococcus hyicus and S intermedius intramammary infections (IMI) in dairy cows and determine the ability of the 4-hour tube coagulase (TC) test to differentiate the coagulase-positive staphylococci (CPS).

Design

Prevalence of CPS was determined for primiparous cows (point prevalence and prevalence at first parturition) and multiparous cows (point prevalence) of 2 herd groups: < 6% CPS IMI prevalence = low prevalence (LP); > 10% CPS IMI prevalence = high prevalence (HP).

Sample population

For prevalence, cows of 22 dairy herds. For TC, 1,038 CPS strains isolated from cow milk.

Procedure

Speciation of CPS from aseptically collected composite milk samples was performed. Coagulase-positive isolates from 4 cow groups were tested for their ability to coagulate rabbit plasma by 4 hours: LP and HP primiparous cows at parturition, and LP and HP cows any time after first parturition.

Results

Of 487 CPS in the prevalence study, 82.1% were S aureus, 17.7% were coagulase-positive S hyicus, and 0.2% were S intermedius. Of all CPS IMI in LP herds, 34% were coagulase-positive S hyicus; of all CPS IMI in HP herds, 9% were coagulase-positive S hyicus. Coagulase-positive S hyicus appeared to persist to the end of lactation in 4 cows (mean linear somatic cell count = 3.7). The TC test was ≥ 97% sensitive, ≤ 33% specific, and had a predictive value positive range of 60 to 97% for S aureus isolates.

Conclusion

Coagulase-positive S hyicus appears capable of inducing chronic, low-grade IMI. Staphylococcus intermedius does not appear to be an important mastitis pathogen. The TC test is not valid to use as the sole method to differentiate CPS species. (Am J Vet Res 1996;57:54-58)

Abstract

Objective

To determine prevalence and relevance of coagulase-positive Staphylococcus hyicus and S intermedius intramammary infections (IMI) in dairy cows and determine the ability of the 4-hour tube coagulase (TC) test to differentiate the coagulase-positive staphylococci (CPS).

Design

Prevalence of CPS was determined for primiparous cows (point prevalence and prevalence at first parturition) and multiparous cows (point prevalence) of 2 herd groups: < 6% CPS IMI prevalence = low prevalence (LP); > 10% CPS IMI prevalence = high prevalence (HP).

Sample population

For prevalence, cows of 22 dairy herds. For TC, 1,038 CPS strains isolated from cow milk.

Procedure

Speciation of CPS from aseptically collected composite milk samples was performed. Coagulase-positive isolates from 4 cow groups were tested for their ability to coagulate rabbit plasma by 4 hours: LP and HP primiparous cows at parturition, and LP and HP cows any time after first parturition.

Results

Of 487 CPS in the prevalence study, 82.1% were S aureus, 17.7% were coagulase-positive S hyicus, and 0.2% were S intermedius. Of all CPS IMI in LP herds, 34% were coagulase-positive S hyicus; of all CPS IMI in HP herds, 9% were coagulase-positive S hyicus. Coagulase-positive S hyicus appeared to persist to the end of lactation in 4 cows (mean linear somatic cell count = 3.7). The TC test was ≥ 97% sensitive, ≤ 33% specific, and had a predictive value positive range of 60 to 97% for S aureus isolates.

Conclusion

Coagulase-positive S hyicus appears capable of inducing chronic, low-grade IMI. Staphylococcus intermedius does not appear to be an important mastitis pathogen. The TC test is not valid to use as the sole method to differentiate CPS species. (Am J Vet Res 1996;57:54-58)

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