• The effect of disinfectant ingredients on teat skin bacteria associated with mastitis in Irish dairy herds

      Fitzpatrick, Sarah R; Garvey, Mary; Flynn, Jim; O’Brien, Bernadette; Gleeson, David; Teagasc Walsh Scholarship Programme; 2016054 (Biomed Central, 2021-01-02)
      Background Teat disinfection is an important step in the control of mastitis within a dairy herd. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of 96 commercially available teat disinfectant products in Ireland against bacterial isolates on teat skin. Teat disinfection products were applied to the teats of seventeen Holstein–Friesian cows. A split-udder model was used where one cow received two different teat disinfection products on each day. A composite swab sample was taken of the left teats and the right teats before and after teat disinfectant application. Swab samples were plated onto 3 different selective agars to enumerate bacterial counts of streptococcal, staphylococcal and coliform isolates. Results Streptococcal isolates were the most prominent bacterial group recovered on teat swabs taken before the application of a teat disinfection product (55.0%), followed by staphylococcal isolates (41.3%) and coliform isolates (3.7%). Products were reclassified by active ingredients (n = 9) for analysis. These ingredient groups included; chlorhexidine, chlorine dioxide, diamine, iodine, iodine and lactic acid, lactic acid, lactic acid and chlorhexidine, lactic acid and hydrogen peroxide, and lactic acid and salicylic acid. The ingredient group, chlorine dioxide, resulted in comparable reductions to the iodine group for streptococcal isolates. The ingredient group, iodine combined with lactic acid, resulted in the greatest reduction of staphylococcal isolates. When observing products individually, a product containing 1.6% w/w lactic acid combined with hydrogen peroxide was the most effective at reducing streptococcal isolates on the teat skin, whereas a product containing lactic acid combined with 0.6% w/w chlorhexidine was the most effective against staphylococcal isolates. Minor differences were observed regarding the relationship between effectiveness and active ingredient concentration between products. Conclusions This study suggests that some teat disinfectant products achieve a higher reduction in bacterial levels against different specific bacterial groups on teat skin than other products. Therefore, when choosing a teat disinfectant product, the bacteria in the dairy herds’ environment should be considered. Further studies are necessary to evaluate products efficacy against new IMIs and any possible effects on teat skin condition.