Skip to main content Accessibility help

Persistence of coagulase negative staphylococcal intramammary infections in dairy goats

  • Véronique Bernier Gosselin (a1), Simon Dufour (a2) (a3), Pamela R. F. Adkins (a1) and John R. Middleton (a1)


The objectives of the research described here were to describe the persistence of intramammary infections (IMI) caused by coagulase negative staphylococci (CNS) in goats using strain-typing, and to evaluate the relationship between species-specific CNS IMI and somatic cell score (SCS) at the udder-half level. Udder-half milk samples were collected from all 909 lactating goats (1817 halves; 1 blind half) in a single herd. Milk samples were cultured on Columbia blood agar, and 220 goats with at least one half yielding a single colony type CNS were enrolled for two additional half-level samplings at approximately 1-month intervals. Isolates were identified to the species level by matrix-assisted laser desorption-ionisation time-of-flight mass spectrometry or PCR amplification and partial sequencing of tuf or rpoB. An IMI was defined as persistent when ≥1 follow-up sample yielded the same species and strain as on Day 0 based on pulsed-field gel electrophoresis. A generalised mixed linear model was used to evaluate the odds of persistence as a function of CNS species. A mixed linear model was used to evaluate the relationship between IMI status on a given day and SCS. Among 192 IMI, 69.8% were persistent based on species and strain-type. Staphylococcus simulans IMI had higher odds of persistence than Staphylococcus arlettae IMI. In primiparous goats, Staphylococcus epidermidis IMI was associated with higher SCS than S. arlettae, Staphylococcus xylosus and ‘other CNS’ IMI. The differences detected in the present study between CNS species, with regard to persistence of IMI and association with SCS, highlight the need to study CNS at the species and strain level to understand the pathogenicity and epidemiology of CNS in goats.


Corresponding author

Author for correspondence: John R. Middleton, Email:


Hide All

Current address: Department of Clinical Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Université de Montréal, Québec, Canada.



Hide All
Bergonier, D, de Cremoux, R, Rupp, R, Lagriffoul, G and Berthelot, X (2003) Mastitis of dairy small ruminants. Veterinary Research 34, 689716.
Bernier Gosselin, V, Lovstad, J, Dufour, S, Adkins, PRF and Middleton, JR (2018) Use of MALDI-TOF to characterize staphylococcal intramammary infections in dairy goats. Journal of Dairy Science 101, 62626270.
Contreras, A, Corrales, JC, Sierra, D and Marco, J (1995) Prevalence and aetiology of non-clinical intramammary infection in Murciano-Granadina goats. Small Ruminant Research 17, 7178.
Contreras, A, Corrales, JC, Sanchez, A and Sierra, D (1997) Persistence of subclinical intramammary pathogens in goats throughout lactation. Journal of Dairy Science 80, 28152819.
Contreras, A, Paape, MJ and Miller, RH (1999) Prevalence of subclinical intramammary infection caused by Staphylococcus epidermidis in a commercial dairy goat herd. Small Ruminant Research 31, 203208.
Contreras, A, Luengo, C, Sánchez, A and Corrales, JC (2003) The role of intramammary pathogens in dairy goats. Livestock Production Science 79, 273283.
Deinhofer, M and Pernthaner, A (1995) Staphylococcus spp. as mastitis-related pathogens in goat milk. Veterinary Microbiology 43, 161166.
Drancourt, M and Raoult, D (2002) Rpob gene sequence-based identification of Staphylococcus species. Journal of Clinical Microbiology 40, 13331338.
Fry, PR, Middleton, JR, Dufour, S, Perry, J, Scholl, D and Dohoo, I (2014) Association of coagulase-negative staphylococcal species, mammary quarter milk somatic cell count, and persistence of intramammary infection in dairy cattle. Journal of Dairy Science 97, 48764885.
Haenlein, GFW (2002) Relationship of somatic cell counts in goat milk to mastitis and productivity. Small Ruminant Research 45, 163178.
Hogan, SJ, González, RN, Harmon, RJ, Nickerson, SC, Oliver, SG, Pankey, JW and Smith, KL (eds) (1999) Laboratory Handbook on Bovine Mastitis, Rev. Edn, p. 169. Madison, WI: National Mastitis Council.
Hwang, SM, Kim, MS, Park, KU, Song, J and Kim, EC (2011) Tuf gene sequence analysis has greater discriminatory power than 16S rRNA sequence analysis in identification of clinical isolates of coagulase-negative staphylococci. Journal of Clinical Microbiology 49, 41424149.
Koop, G, van Werven, T, Schuiling, HJ and Nielen, M (2010) The effect of subclinical mastitis on milk yield in dairy goats. Journal of Dairy Science 93, 58095817.
Koop, G, De Vliegher, S, De Visscher, A, Supre, K, Haesebrouck, F, Nielen, M and van Werven, T (2012) Differences between coagulase-negative Staphylococcus species in persistence and in effect on somatic cell count and milk yield in dairy goats. Journal of Dairy Science 95, 50755084.
Leitner, G, Merin, U and Silanikove, N (2004 a) Changes in milk composition as affected by subclinical mastitis in goats. Journal of Dairy Science 87, 17191726.
Leitner, G, Merin, U, Silanikove, N, Ezra, E, Chaffer, M, Gollop, N, Winkler, M, Glickman, A and Saran, A (2004 b) Effect of subclinical intramammary infection on somatic cell counts, NAGase activity and gross composition of goats milk. Journal of Dairy Research 71, 311315.
Leitner, G, Merin, U, Lavi, Y, Egber, A and Silanikove, N (2007) Aetiology of intramammary infection and its effect on milk composition in goat flocks. Journal of Dairy Research 74, 186193.
McDougall, S, Malcolm, D and Prosser, C (2014) Prevalence and incidence of intramammary infections in lactating dairy goats. New Zealand Veterinary Journal 62, 136145.
Middleton, JR, Fox, LK, Gay, JM, Tyler, JW and Besser, TE (2002) Influence of Staphylococcus aureus strain-type on mammary quarter milk somatic cell count and N-acetyl-beta-D-glucosaminidase activity in cattle from eight dairies. Journal of Dairy Science 85, 11331140.
Middleton, JR, Fox, LK, Pighetti, G and Petersson-Wolfe, C (eds) (2017) Laboratory Handbook on Bovine Mastitis, 3rd Edn, pp. 1924. New Prague, MN: National Mastitis Council.
Moroni, P, Pisoni, G, Antonini, M, Ruffo, G, Carli, S, Varisco, G and Boettcher, P (2005 a) Subclinical mastitis and antimicrobial susceptibility of Staphylococcus caprae and Staphylococcus epidermidis isolated from two Italian goat herds. Journal of Dairy Science 88, 16941704.
Moroni, P, Pisoni, G, Ruffo, G and Boettcher, PJ (2005 b) Risk factors for intramammary infections and relationship with somatic-cell counts in Italian dairy goats. Preventive Veterinary Medicine 69, 163173.
Muellner, P, Stark, KD, Dufour, S and Zadoks, RN (2016) ‘Next-generation’ surveillance: an epidemiologists’ perspective on the use of molecular information in food safety and animal health decision-making. Zoonoses and Public Health 63, 351357.
Paape, MJ, Wiggans, GR, Bannerman, DD, Thomas, DL, Sanders, AH, Contreras, A, Moroni, P and Miller, RH (2007) Monitoring goat and sheep milk somatic cell counts. Small Ruminant Research 68, 114125.
Poutrel, B (1984) Udder infection of goats by coagulase-negative staphylococci. Veterinary Microbiology 9, 131137.
Rothman, KJ, Greenland, S and Lash, TL (2008) Modern Epidemiology, 3rd Edn. Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer Health/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
Ryan, DP, Greenwood, PL and Nicholls, PJ (1993) Effect of caprine arthritis-encephalitis virus infection on milk cell count and N-acetyl-beta-glucosaminidase activity in dairy goats. Journal of Dairy Research 60, 299306.
Sanchez, A, Corrales, JC, Luengo, C and Contreras, A (1999) Intramammary pathogens and somatic cell counts in dairy goats. In: Proceedings of the 6th International Symposium on the Milking of Small Ruminants, pp. 124129.
Sanchez, A, Contreras, A, Corrales, JC and Marco, JC (2001) Relationships between infection with caprine arthritis encephalitis virus, intramammary bacterial infection and somatic cell counts in dairy goats. The Veterinary Record 148, 711714.
Tomazi, T, Goncalves, JL, Barreiro, JR, de Campos Braga, PA, Prada e Silva, LF, Eberlin, MN and dos Santos, MV (2014) Identification of coagulase-negative staphylococci from bovine intramammary infection by matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-time of flight mass spectrometry. Journal of Clinical Microbiology 52, 16581663.
Wilson, DJ, Stewart, KN and Sears, PM (1995) Effects of stage of lactation, production, parity and season on somatic cell counts in infected and uninfected dairy goats. Small Ruminant Research 16, 165169.


Type Description Title
Supplementary materials

Bernier Gosselin et al. supplementary material
Bernier Gosselin et al. supplementary material 1

 PDF (346 KB)
346 KB

Persistence of coagulase negative staphylococcal intramammary infections in dairy goats

  • Véronique Bernier Gosselin (a1), Simon Dufour (a2) (a3), Pamela R. F. Adkins (a1) and John R. Middleton (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