Prev Vet Med 2019 May 6;166:78-85. Epub 2019 Mar 6.
Epidemiology Group, National Veterinary Institute, Technical University of Denmark, Kgs. Lyngby, Denmark; Section of Animal Welfare and Disease Control, Department of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Copenhagen University, Frederiksberg, Denmark.
The objective of this study was to evaluate and compare different combinations of intervention strategies for contagious or opportunistic subclinical and clinical intramammary infections (IMI). We simulated two different Danish dairy cattle herds with ten different intervention strategies focusing on cow-specific treatment or culling, including three baseline strategies without subclinical interventions. In one herd, the main causative pathogen of IMI was Staphylococcus (S.) aureus. In the other herd, Streptococcus (St.) agalactiae was the main causative agent. For both herds, we investigated costs and effectiveness of all ten intervention strategies. Intervention strategies consisted of measures against clinical and subclinical IMI, with baselines given by purely clinical intervention strategies. Our results showed that strategies including subclinical interventions were more cost-effective than the respective baseline strategies. Increase in income and reduction of IMI cases came at the cost of increased antibiotic usage and an increased culling rate in relation to IMI. However, there were differences between the herds. In the St. agalactiae herd, the clinical intervention strategy did not seem to have a big impact on income and number of cases. However, intervention strategies which included cow-specific clinical interventions led to a higher income and lower number of cases in the S. aureus herd. The results show that intervention strategies including interventions against contagious or opportunistic clinical and subclinical IMI can be highly cost-effective, but should be herd-specific.