Skip to main content Accessibility help

Efficacy of homeopathic and antibiotic treatment strategies in cases of mild and moderate bovine clinical mastitis

  • Christina Werner (a1), Axel Sobiraj (a2) and Albert Sundrum (a1)


The objective of this clinical control trial was to examine the effectiveness of the classical homeopathic treatment strategy in cases of mild and moderate bovine clinical mastitis in comparison with antibiotic and placebo treatments. Owing to characteristics of the selected herds, only cases of clinical mastitis caused by environmental pathogens and clinical cases with negative bacteriological result in the pre-treatment milk sample were included in the trial. A total of 136 lactating dairy cows with 147 affected quarters from four herds in Germany were randomly allocated to three treatment groups. The cows were examined on days 0, 1, 2 and on days 7, 14, 28 and 56 post initial infection to assess clinical signs. Simultaneously, with the exception of days 1 and 2, quarter milk samples for laboratory examinations (bacteriology, somatic cell count) were collected to assess bacteriological and cytological cure rates. On days 28 and 56, treatment strategies did not differ significantly with respect to the clinical outcomes and the total cure rate in cases of bacteriological negative mastitis (n=56). In cases of pathogen-positive mastitis (n=91), the cure rate after 4 and 8 weeks was similar between the two treatment strategies, homeopathy and antibiotic treatment, but the difference between the homeopathic and the placebo treatment at day 56 was significant (P<0·05). The results indicate a therapeutic effect of homeopathic treatment in cases of mild and moderate clinical mastitis. However, independent of treatment strategy and bacteriological status, the total cure rate was on a low level, revealing limitations in the effectiveness of both antibiotic and homeopathic treatment strategies.


Corresponding author

*For correspondence; e-mail:


Hide All
Bauer, AW, Kirby, WMM, Sherris, JC & Turck, M 1966 Antibiotic susceptibility testing by a standardized single disk method. American Journal of Clinical Pathology 45 493496
Blobel, H & Schliesser, T 1994 [Handbook of Bacterial Infections]. Jena, Germany: Gustav Fischer
Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute 2009 Performance standards for antimicrobial disk susceptibility tests; approved standard – tenth edition. CLSI document M02-A10. Wayne NE, USA
Cucherat, M, Haugh, MC, Gooch, M & Boissel, JP 2000 Evidence of clinical efficacy of homeopathy. A meta-analysis of clinical trials. European Journal of Clinical Pharmacology 56 2733
EU 2008 Commission regulation (EC) No 889/2008 laying down detailed rules for the implementation of council regulation (EC) No 834/2007 on organic production and labelling of organic products with regard to organic production, labelling and control. Available: <> Accessed: 12/03/2008
European Agency for the Evaluation of Medicinal Products 2003 Guideline for the conduct of efficacy studies for intramammary products for use in cattle. Available: <> Accessed: 02/24/2008
European Agency for the Evaluation of Medicinal Products 2001 Points to consider on missing data. Available: <> Accessed: 02/26/2008
Garbe, S 2003 [Investigation of the effect of homeopathic treatment on the improvement of udder health in dairy cows] PhD Thesis. Berlin Freie Universität, Department of Veterinary Medicine
German Veterinary Medical Society 2002 Guidelines for bovine mastitis control in dairy herds. GVMS, Giessen, Germany
Hahnemann, S 1999 Organon Original. 6th Edition. Nendeln, Germany: Barthel & Barthel
Hektoen, L, Larsen, S, Odegaard, SA & Loken, T 2004 Comparison of homeopathy, placebo and antibiotic treatment of clinical mastitis in dairy cows- methodological issues and results from a randomized-clinical trial. Journal of Veterinary Medicine, Series A: Physiology, Pathology, Clinical Medicine 51 439446
Hillerton, JE & Berry, EA 2005 Treating mastitis in the cow—a tradition or an archaism. Journal of Applied Microbiology 98 12501255
Hillerton, JE & Berry, EA 2003 The management and treatment of environmental streptococcal mastitis. Veterinary Clinics of North America: Food Animal Practice 19 157169
Hillerton, JE & Kliem, KE 2002 Effective treatment of Streptococcus uberis clinical mastitis to minimize the use of antibiotics. Journal of Dairy Science 85 10091014
Hillerton, JE, Bramley, AJ, Staker, RT & Mc Kinnon, CH 1995 Patterns of intramammary infection and clinical mastitis over a 5 year period in a closely monitored herd applying mastitis control measures. Journal of Dairy Research 62 3950
Hovi, M & Roderick, S 2000 Mastitis and mastitis control strategies in organic milk. Cattle Practice 8 259264
Hovi, M, Sundrum, A & Thamsborg, SM 2003 Animal health and welfare in organic livestock production in Europe—current state and future challenges. Livestock Production Science 80 4153
International Dairy Federation 1981 Laboratory methods for use in mastitis work Document No 132 IDF, Brussels, Belgium
Krömker, V & Pfannenschmidt, F 2005 [Mastitis incidence and therapy in organic dairy farms.] Proceedings of the 8. Wissenschaftstagung Ökologischer Landbau pp. 409410
Krömker, V, Zinke, C, Paduch, JH, Klocke, D, Reimann, A & Eller, G 2010 Evaluation of increased milking frequency as an additional treatment for cows with clinical mastitis. Journal of Dairy Research 77 9094
McDougall, S 2003 Intramammary treatment of clinical mastitis of dairy cows with a combination of lincomycin and neomycin, or penicillin and dihydrostreptomycin. New Zealand Veterinary Journal 51 111116
Meaney, WJ 1995 Treatment of mastitis with homoeopathic remedies. IDF Mastitis Newsletter 20 56
Olde Riekerink, RGM, Barkema, HW, Kelton, DF & Scholl, DT 2008 Incidence rate of clinical mastitis on Canadian dairy farms. Journal of Dairy Science 91 13661377
Pol, M & Ruegg, PL 2007 Treatment practices and quantification of antimicrobial drug usage in conventional and organic dairy farms in Wisconsin. Journal of Dairy Science 90 249261
Pyörälä, S 2002 Trends and advances in mastitis therapy. Veterinary Medicine Report 26 1617
Roberson, JR, Warwick, LD & Moore, G 2004 Mild to moderate clinical mastitis: Efficacy of intramammary Amoxicillin, frequent milk-out, a combined intramammary Amoxicillin and frequent milk-out treatment versus no treatment. Journal of Dairy Science 87 583592
Rosenberger, G 1990 [The Clinical Examination of Cattle, 3rd Edition] Berlin, Germany: Parey
Ruegg, PL 2008 Management of mastitis on organic and conventional dairy farms. Journal of Animal Science 87 4355
Sèrieys, F, Raguet, Y, Goby, L, Schmidt, H & Friton, G 2005 Comparative efficacy of local and systemic antibiotic treatment in lactating cows with clinical mastitis. Journal of Dairy Science 88 9399
Shang, A, Huwiler-Müntener, K, Nartey, L, Jüni, P, Dörig, S, Sterne, J, Pewsner, D & Egger, M 2005 Are the clinical effects of homoeopathy placebo effects? Comparative study of placebo-controlled trials of homoeopathy and allopathy. Lancet 366 726732
Turner, SJ 2001 Use of homoeopathy and non-antibiotic treatment for mastitis in Somerset. Proceedings of the British Mastitis Conference pp. 1323
Ungemach, FR, Müller-Bahrdt, D & Abraham, G 2006 Guidelines for prudent use of antimicrobials and their implications on antibiotic usage in veterinary medicine. International Journal of Medical Microbiology 296 3338
USDA National Organic Program 2002 Organic production and handling standards. Available: Accessed: 06/10/2008
Vaarst, M, Bennedsgaard, TW, Klaas, I, Nissen, TB, Thamsborg, SM & Østergaard, S 2006 Development and daily management of an explicit strategy of nonuse of antimicrobial drugs in twelve danish organic dairy herds. Journal of Dairy Science 89 18421853
Varshney, JP & Naresh, R 2005 Comparative efficacy of homeopathic and allopathic systems of medicine in the management of clinical mastitis of Indian dairy cows. Homeopathy 94 8185


Efficacy of homeopathic and antibiotic treatment strategies in cases of mild and moderate bovine clinical mastitis

  • Christina Werner (a1), Axel Sobiraj (a2) and Albert Sundrum (a1)


Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed