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Detection of tetracycline and other antimicrobial residues in milk from cows with clinical mastitis treated by combination therapy

  • Aleksandar Siljanoski (a1), Renata Ciglarič (a1), Tomaž Pezdir (a1), Petra R Lainšček (a1), Jožica Dolenc (a1), Jože Starič (a2) and Ksenija Šinigoj-Gačnik (a1)...

The purpose of this study was to determine tetracycline and other antimicrobial residues in milk from dairy cows treated for clinical mastitis. Data on cow health and drugs used were obtained from the farm veterinarians. A milk sample from each affected udder quarter of each cow was taken for bacterial identification before treatment. All 35 cows in the study were treated with an intramammary product containing tetracycline, neomycin, bacitracin, and prednisolone (tetracycline injector) and also simultaneously with other drugs via the intramammary or parenteral route. The withhold period of the ‘tetracycline product’ was eight milkings but, in all cases, longer withhold periods were prescribed due to off-label application of additional combinations of drugs. Milk samples from treated udder quarters, taken two milkings before and two after the prescribed withhold period, were analysed for antimicrobial residues. Additionally, milk samples were taken from untreated healthy udder quarters to check if any crossover of drugs had occurred. Three screening tests were used for antimicrobial detection. In 15 (42·9%) cows the milk samples from the treated infected quarters contained tetracycline residues above the maximum residue limit (MRL) after the prescribed withhold period and, in two cases (5·7%) the same was true for neomycin and cefquinome residues. Cephalexin above the MRL was detected in only one case (2·9%). Beta-lactams did not exceed the MRL after the prescribed withhold period. Antimicrobial residues were not detected in milk samples from untreated quarters. Cow condition including parity, decreased milk production and severity of mastitis significantly influenced the excretion of antimicrobials in milk (P ≤ 0·05). No significant differences were found between the tetracycline positive and tetracycline negative cows regarding the bacteria involved, combination antimicrobial therapy, or treatment interval and duration.

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Journal of Dairy Research
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