Importance Of Sub-Clinical Mastitis Due To Streptococcus Agalactiae In Camels PDF Print E-mail
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Wednesday, 03 August 2011 05:49

Maichomo MW1*, Kibugu J1, Kurgat R1, Malonza VM1

1 Kenya Agricultural Research Institute, Trypanosomiasis Research Centre, P.O. Box 362, 00902, Kikuyu, Kenya

* Corresponding author: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Abstract

Camels are the most important dairy animals in Kenya ASALs producing approximately 220 million litres of milk annually which is greatly reduced by mastitis. There is a positive correlation between California mastitis test (CMT) and presence of pathogens. Streptococcus agalactiae (Group B Streptococcus - GBS) is an important human pathogen, particularly of newborns with zoonotic transmission but cannot be easily treated using antibiotics.  In ASALs, milk is consumed fresh or sour posing a health hazard to consumers. This study quantified economic losses associated with mastitis in one humped camel (Camelus dromedaries) and assessed risk of Streptococcus agalactiae (GBS) contamination in camel milk to consumers in Marsabit and Isiolo counties (Kenya). Four hundred and twenty (420) pair wise comparisons were obtained from randomly selected camels. Mastitis prevalence was determined by clinical examination, physical milk examination and on-the-spot screening of hygienically collected milk by CMT. Milk samples were collected and cultured using Todd Hewitt and Edwards agar to isolate S. agalactiae. Differences in milk production within fore and hind quarters were attributed to mastitis all other factors held constant. Data was analysed using analysis of variance. Eighty three (83%) of camels had subclinical mastitis and milk loss in mastitic quarters was 0.114L and 0.172L equivalent to Ksh6.84 and Ksh10.32 for fore and hind quarters respectively per camel per day. Regardless of quarter, loss in milk production was significant (F = 30.51, p<0.001). Sixty four (64%) of bacterial isolates were characterized as GBS based on lancefield grouping. This study indicates the economic importance of camel mastitis and that the threat of zoonotic transmission of S. agalactiae through milk is real. Due to poor hygiene in ASALs and ineffectiveness of common antibiotics, a more sustainable approach to control using vaccine is being explored.

Key words: Mastitis, camels, zoonosis, Streptococcus agalactiae
 
   

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