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Electronic method of express diagnosis of mastitis

Currently mastitis of cows which is very widespread presents one of the biggest economic problems for the dairy industry. It should be noted that asymptomatic subclinical mastitis occurs 4-5 times more frequently than clinical mastitis.

Mastitis causes reduced milk production, increase of incidence rate of calves, increasing number of infertile cows, early discarding of cows as well as deterioration of nutritional and technological properties of milk.

Veterinary science and practice aim to play an important role in increasing of livestock production. Despite the success in fighting many animal diseases still there are cattle diseases (including cows’ mastitis or an inflammation of the mammary gland (udder)) which cause huge economic losses to livestock farms.

Veterinary services in many countries employ various means and methods of treatment of mastitis. However, the disease still remains one of the barriers in increasing of the quantity of high-quality milk as well as the reason of huge losses in dairy farms economy all over the world. In some countries up to 50% of livestock fall ill with mastitis each year. And in some countries the losses from mastitis are much larger than the losses caused by other diseases of animals. Decrease of milk production is the most severe consequence of mastitis.

According to the data presented in the foreign scientific publications the annual losses in the dairy industry due to mastitis was approximately 2 billion dollars in the USA and 526 million dollars in India, in which subclinical mastitis are responsible for 70% of these losses.

The use of new medical and diagnostic preparations, improving the technology of machine milking do not give the desired results in fighting against mastitis.

Mastitis continues to be a widespread disease. The major factors causing mastitis of cows are as follows:

  1. failure to observe the machine milking technology,
  2. unbalanced feeding of animals,
  3. failure to observe the conditions of animals keeping/ animal welfare conditions.

Therefore the most urgent and relevant along with the preventive measures/actions becomes timely diagnosis of the disease at an early stage when there are no clinical manifestations of mastitis.

Our R&D team has developed and offered for the wide application our device Miltec–1 which is intended for the rapid diagnosis of subclinical mastitis.The technical solution developed by our team is based on the data obtained at the Department of Inorganic Chemistry and Biophysics headed by P. M. Sigarev, Associate Professor, Candidate of Chemical sciences.

The measuring principle of the device is based on the changes in the ionic composition of milk depending on the degree of manifestation of mastitis.

From the research conducted follows that as the mastitis progresses the efficiency of the potassium-sodium pump is reduced, so the conductivity of the medium (in this case milk) is also reduced.

Miltec-1 does not require any preliminary preparation of milk sample before the analysis and any additional chemicals. The temperature of the sample tested can be from +20 deg. C to + 39 deg. C. The analysis of one sample takes only a few seconds.

Key features of Miltec 1 which make it convenient in operation:

  • An easy-to-read liquid crystal display which displays the measurement results in a convenient for reading form;
  • Complete automatic diagnostics and the output of the messages about any malfunctions on the display;
  • Other technical and software features (for example connection with the computer).

The device has been tested by us in different seasons of the year, in different periods of lactation of the cows and at the farms of Novosibirsk region with different types of feeding and different ecological zones.

These tests have shown that the above factors do not affect the accuracy of diagnostic tests that allows us to recommend this device for express diagnosis of subclinical mastitis.