Duration of infection and strain variation in Streptococcus uberis isolated from cows' milk

J Dairy Sci. 2004 Jul;87(7):2062-72. doi: 10.3168/jds.S0022-0302(04)70024-7.


The duration of infection and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) types of bovine intramammary Streptococcus uberis isolates were examined. Milk samples were collected in duplicate from all 4 glands of 503 cows from 5 herds within 1 to 3 d of parturition and from 113 cows with clinical mastitis in the same herds throughout lactation. Glands from which S. uberis was isolated were resampled at 28-d intervals.The prevalence of S. uberis was 12% for cows around parturition, and the median duration of infection was 16 d. Cows >2 yr old had a longer duration of infection than 2 yr old cows, and duration varied among herds. A total of 173 different PFGE types were identified from a total of 234 S. uberis isolates. Each farm had a unique set of PFGE types. Only 3 PFGE types were common to each of 3 pairs of cows, and these occurred on the same farm. Where S. uberis was isolated on more than one occasion from a gland, only 55% of the PFGE types were the same across time. For cows with multiple glands infected, only one-half (9 of 18) had the same PFGE type in more than one gland. No predominant PFGE type was identified in any herd. It is concluded that there was wide heterogeneity of PFGE types, that the environment rather than other cows was the likely source of S. uberis infections, and that glands may be infected with multiple S. uberis PFGE types over a lactation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cattle
  • Electrophoresis, Gel, Pulsed-Field
  • Female
  • Mastitis, Bovine / microbiology*
  • Species Specificity
  • Streptococcal Infections / microbiology
  • Streptococcal Infections / veterinary*
  • Streptococcus / classification*
  • Streptococcus / isolation & purification*
  • Time Factors