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J Dairy Sci. 2009 Oct;92(10):4717-29. doi: 10.3168/jds.2009-2347.

Invited review: The role of contagious disease in udder health.

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1
Department of Production Animal Health, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

Abstract

Contagious diseases are a threat to animal health and productivity, both nationally and at the farm level. This makes implementation of biosecurity measures to prevent their introduction and spread within countries and farms a necessity. Mastitis is the most common and costly contagious disease affecting dairy farms in the western world. The major mastitis pathogens are endemic in most countries, and biosecurity measures to prevent introduction and transmission must therefore be implemented at farm level. The 40-yr-old mastitis control plan remains a solid foundation to prevent the spread of contagious intramammary infections. Contagious diseases that do not affect the mammary gland directly may have an indirect effect on mastitis. This is true for list A diseases such as foot and mouth disease, for which biosecurity measures may need to be taken at national level, and for other infections with nonmastitis pathogens such as bovine viral diarrhea virus and Mycobacterium avium ssp. paratuberculosis. Maintaining a closed herd decreases the risk of introduction of pathogens that affect udder health directly or indirectly. If animals are purchased, their udder health history should be evaluated and they should be examined and tested for contagious diseases. Transmission of infections by and to humans and nonbovine animals may occur. Contact with visitors and nonbovine animals should therefore be minimized. Because of globalization and heightened consumer awareness, the importance of biosecurity now supersedes individual farms, and increased pressure to control transmission of contagious diseases can be expected at industry or government levels in western countries and elsewhere.

PMID:
19762787
PMCID:
PMC2765761
DOI:
10.3168/jds.2009-2347
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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