Pathogen group-specific risk factors for intramammary infection in water buffalo

PLoS One. 2024 Apr 4;19(4):e0299929. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0299929. eCollection 2024.


A cross-sectional study was conducted to estimate the prevalence of intramammary infection (IMI) associated bacteria and to identify risk factors for pathogen group-specific IMI in water buffalo in Bangladesh. A California Mastitis Test (CMT) and bacteriological cultures were performed on 1,374 quarter milk samples collected from 763 water buffalo from 244 buffalo farms in nine districts in Bangladesh. Quarter, buffalo, and farm-related data were obtained through questionnaires and visual observations. A total of 618 quarter samples were found to be culture positive. Non-aureus staphylococci were the predominant IMI-associated bacterial species, and Staphylococcus (S.) chromogenes, S. hyicus, and S. epidermidis were the most common bacteria found. The proportion of non-aureus staphylococci or Mammaliicoccus sciuri (NASM), S. aureus, and other bacterial species identified in the buffalo quarter samples varied between buffalo farms. Therefore, different management practices, buffalo breeding factors, and nutrition were considered and further analyzed when estimating the IMI odds ratio (OR). The odds of IMI by any pathogen (OR: 1.8) or by NASM (OR: 2.2) was high in buffalo herds with poor milking hygiene. Poor cleanliness of the hind quarters had a high odds of IMI caused by any pathogen (OR: 2.0) or NASM (OR: 1.9). Twice daily milking (OR: 3.1) and farms with buffalo purchased from another herd (OR: 2.0) were associated with IMI by any pathogen. Asymmetrical udders were associated with IMI-caused by any bacteria (OR: 1.7). A poor body condition score showed higher odds of IMI by any pathogen (OR: 1.4) or by NASM (OR: 1.7). This study shows that the prevalence of IMI in water buffalo was high and varied between farms. In accordance with the literature, our data highlight that IMI can be partly controlled through better farm management, primarily by improving hygiene, milking management, breeding, and nutrition.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Buffaloes
  • Cattle
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Mammary Glands, Animal / microbiology
  • Mastitis, Bovine* / microbiology
  • Milk / microbiology
  • Risk Factors
  • Staphylococcal Infections* / microbiology
  • Staphylococcus aureus
  • Staphylococcus epidermidis
  • Staphylococcus*

Supplementary concepts

  • Staphylococcus sciuri

Grants and funding

Dr. Ylva Persson is currently working as State Veterinarian in National Veterinary Institute Sweden is the author who was awarded the grant. The grant was awarded by Swedish Research Council The Vetenskapsrådet (grant number: 2018–03583) Funder website: No, the funder did not play any role in the study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.