The clinical, haematological and functional changes which followed three consecutive intramammary infections of Streptococcus agalactiae in the first lactation of eight heifers, four of which were systemically hyperimmune to the organism, are described. Irrespective of whether it was a vaccinated or non-vaccinated heifer or first, second or third infection the clinical features during the first 24 hours were characterised by elevated temperatures with hard, swollen and painful infected quarters. First infections were almost all of short duration because of self cure, while second or third infections were prolonged, with intermittent excretion of bacteria and low cell counts. Milk yields of infected quarters were depressed, ranging from 8 per cent in short infections to 31 per cent in chronic infections. All blood parameters remained within normal limits with the exception of total and differential white cell counts, which showed a change from a quantitative to a qualitative response by the third infection. The most significant finding was the absence of any real difference between the systemically hyperimmune and the non-vaccinated heifers, suggesting that circulating antibody has little effect against intramammary infection.
- British Veterinary Association. All rights reserved.
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