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Evaluation of Cow-Side Meters to Determine Somatic Cell Count in Individual Cow Quarter & Bulk-Tank



Intramammary infections, which cause mastitis, can increase treatment and labor costs, decrease milk production, and affect milk quality. Meters that measure quarter somatic cell count (SCC) could be used to make more informed dry cow therapy decisions. The objective of this study was to compare the RT-10 iPhone adapter (RT-10; Dairy Quality Inc., Newmarket, ON, Canada), DeLaval Cell Counter (DSCC; DeLaval, Gurnee, IL, USA), Porta Check Quick Test (PortaCheck, White City, OR, USA), California Mastitis Test (ImmuCell, Portland, ME USA), pH meter (Hanna Instruments, Smithfield, RI, USA), electrical conductivity meter (OHAUS, Parsippany, NJ, USA), and the dual laser infrared temperature thermometer (Klein Tools, Lincolnshire, IL, USA) for measuring SCC in individual Holstein mammary quarters in comparison to a reference standard, the Fourier Transform Spectrometer 600 Combi System (Combi; Bentley Instruments, Chaska, MN, USA). Meters were evaluated using 658 individual cow quarter samples and 100 bulk-tank samples to measure SCC. Individual quarter milk samples from 160 cows from four commercial dairy herds were collected just before dry off and tested within 4 h of collection. To test bulk-tank SCC, 100 bulk-tank milk samples (25 mL) were collected from UC Davis Veterinary Medicine Teaching and Research Milk Quality Lab. Meter SCC values were regressed on observed Combi SCC. Goodness of fit was then evaluated by partitioning the mean square predicted error (MSPE). For individual quarter SCC, RT-10 had the highest coefficient of determination (R2 = 0.86), lowest MSPE, and highest proportion of MSPE due to random variation (96%). Both the RT-10 and DSCC had the highest sensitivity and specificity for identifying quarter SCC above and below 200,000 cells/mL. For bulk-tank SCC, DSCC had the highest coefficient of determination (R2 = 0.45), lowest MSPE, and highest proportion of MSPE due to random variation (80%). The RT-10 and DSCC could be used to measure individual quarter SCC to determine which cows to treat at dry off potentially reducing antibiotic use.


Jacobsen LA, Niesen AM, Lucey P, Rossow HA. Evaluation of Cow-Side Meters to Determine Somatic Cell Count in Individual Cow Quarter and Bulk-Tank Milk Samples. Animals. 2023; 13(13):2169.


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https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13132169

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