Animal Sciences: Management of Bovine Subclinical Mastitis with Mastilep Gel


Animal Sciences
Animal Sciences

An experimental study was conducted at College of Veterinary and Animal Sciences Parbhani, in order to demonstrate the therapeutic potential of Mastilep gel against sub clinical mastitis. The bovine cases presented to the Teaching Veterinary Clinical Complex (TVCC) and the instructional livestock farm, were screened by performing Mastrip test and MCMT. All positive animals were randomly divided into 2 groups of 10 animals each. Subclinically mastitic animals of group A (control group) were not given any treatment and that of group B were treated with Mastilep gel (Applied gently by massaging the udder), BID for 5 days. SCC in both groups was above ~6.29×105±3.33 cells/ ml. Microbial investigation revealed Staphylococcus, Streptococcus and Escherichia coli as prime etiology of bovine sub clinical mastitis in present study. SCC in Mastilep gel treated group was reduced significantly on day 5th of treatment to 4.01 ± 2.06. After treatment milk yield in cows suffering from sub clinical mastitis was significantly improved.   In this study, Mastilep gel is found to be effective in treatment of SCM refractory to antibiotics and thus may be recommended for devising an effective control measure against subclinical mastitis.


Bovine Mastitis is economically the most significant disease of dairy cows and continues to be a persistent problem in the dairy industry at global level. With remarkably rising impact on Indian economy overall losses due to mastitis is estimated to be Rs. 7165.51 crores (Bansal and Gupta, 2009), a number which increased from 6053.2 crores in less than a decade before (Dua, 2001). As far the etiology is concerned, mastitis is caused by over 150 different contagious or environmental micro-organisms (Kuang et al., 2009). Out of two forms of mastitis, subclinical mastitis is subtle, causes huge economic losses, and is difficult to detect as the cow appears healthy, the udder does not show any signs of inflammation and the milk appears normal. However, microorganisms and somatic cells are found in elevated numbers in the milk (Bhatt  et al, 2012). The herd-level economic loss brought about by SCM is substantial and has been reported to be even larger than that caused by CM (Huijps et al., 2008). The use of synthetic antibiotics is being increasingly discouraged because their presence in dairy milk may have potential downstream effects on population health and the Agri-food chain. (Taga et al, 2012). Udder and Milking hygiene significantly reduce the risk of environmental pathogen inhabiting and causing intramammary infection in cows (Compton et al., 2007). Keeping in view the present trial was conducted to substantiate the udder health using Mastilep gel against SCM in cows.

Materials and Methods

The bovine cases presented to the Teaching Veterinary Clinical Complex (TVCC) and the instructional livestock farm College of Veterinary and Animal Sciences Parbhani, Maharashtra, India were incorporated in the present research trial. The cows were screened by performing Mastrip test and MCMT. History pertaining to physiological status of an individual animal e.g age, milk yield per day, lactation no, lactation stage was collected and detailed clinical examination was conducted. Colour, consistency, odour, taste of milk and clinical manifestation if any, was also recorded. Cows with positive MCMT were selected and distributed among two groups each containing 10 animals (one control group and one treatment). Treatment Group (Group B) was treated with application of herbal topical application Mastilep Gel twice daily after every milking for five consecutive days. Control group was advised not to be given any treatment. Milk samples in sterile glass vials were collected before and after application of gel. The sampling was done at the milking time in the evening hours from all the four quarters of cow with hand milking, taking aseptic precautions. The samples were immediately subjected to the detection of somatic cell count, estimation of milk fat and microbiological investigations such as, isolation of bacterial agents responsible for sub clinical and clinical mastitis and also for drug sensitivity for different organisms against isolated organisms. Somatic cell count was determined by the method described by Schalm et al. (1971) except staining, done as per the method described by Newlander and Atherton (1964). Fat content of milk was calculated using Gerber’s method. Isolation of bacteria was done by streaking the samples on blood agar and incubating aerobically at 370 C, for 24 hrs (Cruickshank et al.1975). The isolates were tentatively identified by Gram’s staining and on the basis of morphological characters. The in vitro antibacterial sensitivity pattern of these bacterial isolates was determined by a standard disc diffusion technique (Bauer et al. 1966) using antibiotic discs for recording antibiogram of the isolates. Therapeutic efficacy was determined on the basis of reduction in somatic cell count, milk yield, milk fat content and microbiological investigations (bacterial load in the milk). The data was analysed according to the methods described by Snedecor and Cochran (1994).

Results and Discussion


In the present investigation overall prevalence rate sub clinical Mastitis (SCM) was recorded as 56.1 percent. The incidence rates of sub clinical mastitis reported from different states of India by various workers were 48.7 % (Bansal et al., 1995), 53.54 % (Tiwari et al., 2000), 56.76 % (Chanda et al., 1989), Pachauri et al., 2001). The high incidence observed in the study may be attributed to humid climate, stress of high milk yield, breed predilection and non implementation of strict hygienic measures for control of mastitis. As regard to distribution among infected quarters higher prevalence was recorded in right-hind quarter (37.78 %) followed by left-hind quarter (26.08 %) while it was (21.73 %) in right-fore and (17.39 %) in left-fore quarters respectively. The similar pattern of affection of quarters i.e Right hind (28.98 %), Left hind (27.53%), Right fore (23.67 %) and Left fore (19.80 %) was observed by Shastri (2001). The present experiment findings of season also corroborates with the findings of Rady and Syed (2009) who noticed higher prevalence of sub clinical mastitis in hot weather than in summer and winter.

Modified California Mastitis Test (MCMT)

The MCMT was used for diagnosis of sub clinical mastitis due to it’s reliable, easy, rapid and cheap tool helping in diagnosis and controlling the disease (Viani et al; 1990; Behera and Dwivedi,1992; El- Balkemy et al ; 1997). It gives an indirect estimate of SCC because it is based upon a gelling reaction between thee nucleic acid of the cells and a detergent reagent.

Somatic cell count

Somatic cell count in milk is an indication of the presence of udder infection (Radostitis et al., 2007). Determination of somatic cell count is reliable tool for diagnosis of sub clinical mastitis. In present study, there were no visible changes in udder tissue or gross abnormalities in milk secretion were not obvious but there was complaint of reduction in milk yield and the samples revealed reasonable increase leucocyte count in the milk.

The mean somatic cell count of affected quarters was 6.01×105±4.62 cells/ml which was higher than threshold of 3,50,000 cells/ml of milk and were identified to be affected with sub-clinical mastitis (Radostitis et al.,2007)

Milk Yield and Milk Fat

On clinical examination there was no visible abnormality in udder and milk. In few of the milk samples abnormalities of slight discolouration of milk to faint yellow was observed.On 5th day of the trial, a decrease in milk yield of 100ml/cow/day & milk fat % by 0.1% was evident in the subclinically mastitic animals of group A. In contrast, the Mastilep gel treated animals of group B revealed significant (P≤0.05)  increase in milk yield by 200ml/cow/day and sustained levels of milk fat% (3.1%), on day 5th of treatment. Results are in corraboration with those reported by Singh et al., (2006). Change in the consistency of milk from normal to watery might have affected the average fat percentage in mastitic animals.

Microbiological investigation

Milk samples of all the affected quarters were found positive bacteriologically. The findings of the current study revealed predominance of Staphylococcus, Streptococcus and Escherichia coli as the causative agents of bovine sub clinical mastitis. The different isolates included Staphylococcus aureus (70%), Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus agalactiae (10%), Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli (5%), Staphylococcus aureus and Bacillus cereus (5%), Bacillus cereus (5%) and Escherichia coli (5%) were also isolated in the present study. This is in agreement to the earlier reports (Rady and Syed, 2009; Bhalerao et al; 2000; Pednekar and Swarup, 1991; Singh and Baxi , 1982; Rahman et al; 1984).

Treatment efficacy

Ten cows with sub clinical mastitis were treated with application of topical herbal Mastilep gel twice daily after each milking for five consecutive days. The effectiveness of therapy was observed till 5th day by application of various indirect tests on milk samples collected form sub clinical mastitic cows. Average milk yield increased from 9.2±0.32 lit/day to 9.4±0.26 lit/day on 5th day of treatment however the milk fat level remained unchanged (3.1±0.071). Significant difference was observed in SCC in pre treatment (6.29×105±3.33 cells/ ml) and post treatment (4.01×105±2.06) milk samples. On bacteriological examination, out of 10 positive milk samples, 8 were found negative on 10th day of treatment giving the 80% cure rate. The present results have further confirmed the earlier studies on Mastilep (Joshi et al., 1996). Buragohain and Dutta (1998) reported 100 percent cure of sub clinical mastitis in herbal gel Mastilep treated groups for 7-14 days. The disease prevention in the current experiment might be due to the immunopotentiating activity of herbal drugs that might have enhance the body’s defence mechanism along with udder immunity, thereby keeping all sort of intramammary infections at bay (Singh et al., 2006).The constituent herbal ingredients of biotherapy viz. Cedrus deodara (Thakur et al.,1989), Curcuma longa (Bone, 1991: Ammon et al.,1993), Glycyrrhiza glabra (Akamatsu et al., 1991) and Ecualyptus globules (Satyavati, 1976) are used in alternative medicine for their antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, analgesic and, anti-histaminic and immunomodulatory properties. The efficacy of the herbal gel is due to the combined action of the ingredient herbs.


Altogether from findings of the above investigation it can be concluded that the initial level of SCC, milk yield, milk fat content were effectively brought to the normalcy after Mastilep therapy. Observations of this experiment substantiate the use of Mastilep gel treatment as radical in curing subclinical mastitis.


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Shivi Maini
Himachal Pradesh, India
Assistent Manager- Clinical Research, R&D, Ayurvet

Courtesy engormix

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