Auckland 16 May 2017 – A new Bayer initiative that involves the testing of bulk milk supply
for antibiotic resistance, will allow farmers to more effectively treat
mastitis in New Zealand.
Known as Dairy
Antibiogram, the test will allow veterinarians to determine if antibiotic
resistance to a mastitis treatment is present on a farm. If resistant bacteria
are present, then the veterinarian will be able to prescribe a more effective
veterinarian, Dr Ray Castle, says mastitis is a significant problem for dairy
farmers and the country’s 5 million cows.
infects between 10% - 20% of the national dairy herd with a treatment cost of
up to $250 per cow. As a veterinarian, you want to make sure you’re using the
right antibiotics in the most responsible and effective way possible, which
this test will allow.
moment, we actually don’t know how big a problem antibiotic resistance is in
New Zealand. The Dairy Antibiogram test will give us some of that insight,”
says Dr Castle.
Dr Castle has
been working on the testing and reporting methodology since becoming aware of a
similar programme being run in the Netherlands in late 2016.
involved had to be specifically adapted for New Zealand by Bayer, working in
conjunction with R&D organisation Cognosco, which has been contracted to do
As part of a
consultation with a farmer, a veterinarian can request a sample of milk be sent
from the milk producer to the lab. The test is performed, and the results sent
back to the veterinarian, who can then prescribe an appropriate antibiotic.
Turnaround time is approximately three to four weeks.
managing director and dairy veterinarian, Dr Scott McDougall, says the Dairy
Antibiogram test is an important development for the dairy industry.
there is no ongoing surveillance program for antibiotic resistance in the dairy
industry in New Zealand, and relatively few milk samples are submitted for
antibiotic resistance testing.
that the majority of the time, veterinarians are prescribing without knowing
either the pathogen or its sensitivity to antibiotics. There is a risk of
ineffective therapies being used.
Antibiogram, provides us with an easy way of screening for antibiotic
sensitivities in dairy herds, which will lead to more prudent use of
antibiotics across the dairy industry
“Over time we
will develop an understanding of resistance patterns across the country,
potentially identifying if there are emerging problems with antibiotic
resistance, enabling us to then focus our attention on these herds.”
Dr Castle says
ideally, he would like to see all dairy farms in the country have their milk
undergo the Dairy Antibiogram test.
are an important tool in keeping our dairy herds healthy, but we need to ensure
they’re not overused and that they are actually working.
Antibiogram test will give us this clarity and go a long way to ensuring
effective treatment of mastitis in our dairy herds.”
About Dairy Antibiogram
Antibiogram is a new test that shows how sensitive bacteria are to different
mastitis treatments. The test is easy to have done as it is performed on bulk
milk samples taken from milk processors.
A Dairy Antibiogram
test will provide valuable information that will allow farmers to:
· Identify the current
resistance status of their herd
· Ensure they are using
the most effective mastitis treatments specific to their herd
· Monitor their
resistance status and identify any changes over time
· Compare their
resistance status with industry benchmarks
· Develop biosecurity
plans to protect a good resistance status
· Manage their herd
status and make more informed decisions when integrating stock outside their
· Help the dairy
industry demonstrate that it is using antibiotics in an effective, responsible
and sustainable manner.
more information about Dairy Antibiogram, farmers should consult with their
more information, images or an interview, please contact Stephanie Helm, One
Plus One Communications on:
Phone: (09) 951
Mobile: 022 0894
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