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Brazilian mastitis risk factors: human factor, pathogens, milking and cow

Abstract

Mastitis is the illness with the biggest impact in the dairy production. In Brazil the farmers have annual losses of one billion of reais while the industry has additional costs because of processing high somatic cell count milk. The development of strategies for prevention and control of the disease is fundamental but to reach strategies able to correct the problem and go beyond the symptoms is truly necessary to know and understand the risk factors that are present at the farms: the human, the pathogen, the milking and the cow. The pathogens could be contagious or environmental, but the dynamic of the infection also depends of the condition of the milking equipment and the way it is used, of the milking routine, of the susceptibility of the animal to the disease and of the prophylactics methods used in the farm. Since the knowledge and the information about these factors in Brazil are very limited it is pretended to establish, through structured questionnaires and linear regression analysis, the present conditions of these risk factors at the Brazilian farms and to establish which one or which ones are the responsible of the high somatic cell counts of the Brazilian dairy herd. (AU)