Mastitis Management Technology Comparison

CriteriaSnapshotHerdscreenCheck-UpHerd Testing/DHIA (SCC) PCR TestsAntibiotic Susceptibility Tests
- Antibiograms
Other On-farm Culture TestingMastitis vaccinesBactoscanTraditional microbiology laboratoryFarm Medix
Value for MoneyHighHighHighMediumDepending on application LowMediumLowLowMedium-HighHigh
PurposeMastitis & Milk Quality Troubleshooting & Improvement.Strategic Management of Mastitis.
Screening Tool in Herds with Staph aureus.
Laboratory quality diagnostics for clinical mastitis or animals with high SCCIdentification of animals with infections evoking strong immune response.
Macro approach.
Typically, identification of a small number of pathogens.
Usually contagious pathogens. Useful for bulk tank presence/absence of highly contagious pathogens such as M. bovis or S. agalactiae, otherwise very limited use.
Determination of antibiotic therapy options by measuring retardation of bacterial growth in vitro.
Measures the likelihood that a particular antimicrobial agent will treat an infection caused by a particular organism.
Typically, identification of Staph, Strep or Gram negative bacteria.Lower the immune response or provide protection against a pathogen or toxin.Count bacterial cells in the milk. Used for milk quality evaluation and payment.Identification of all mastitis pathogens in submitted milk samples.Mastitis & Milk Quality Troubleshooting & Improvement
Scope
Capabilities
Identifies pathogens and determines sources of mastitis in animals, plant hygiene or refrigeration.Staph aureus, CNS or other.Identifies 21 pathogens.SCC level.
Can't tell if there is or there was an infection.
No pathogen detection, only inference.
Pathogens DNA presence.
Can't tell if there is or there was an infection.
Usually 1 to 4 pathogens are screened.
Variable depending on technology.Typically only used for antibiotic treatment decisions.Usually 1 pathogen targeted at a time.Only quantitative measurement of bacteria present in milk.
Not able to determine pathogen type.
Small lab 1-10 pathogens typically. Large lab, infinite possibilities.The right combination of
- Breadth (20+) and sensitivity
- On-farm and at-the-lab
- Easy & quick turnarounds
- Amazing customer support
Clinical relevance
(practical importance of method— Usefulness. Whether it has a real genuine, palpable, noticeable use)
HighHighHighHigh, but infection may be present or recent past.Variable because of the indiscriminate detection of both dead and living bacteria.MediumHighN/AMedium.
May be milk quality hygiene rather than animal related.
High, although inconsistencies with laboratory methods between labs has been reported as an issue.High
DeliverablesComprehensive farm assessment report.
Follow-up call.
Cow level assessment report.
Consultation.
Quarter level pathogen identification.SCC level (s) report.Identified DNA (from dead or alive pathogens)In vitro susceptibility to range of antibiotics.Pathogens self- identification.N/ABacteria count report.Pathogen identification report.Comprehensive reports and consultations that cover pathogens identification, pathogens sources, recommendations.
SupportSampling performed by Farm Medix or accredited partners.Sampling support crew available.Yes.
7 days / week identification support
NoNoNoNoNAN/ANoYes
In-sync with farmers' timing?Yes.
When uneasy over: SCC, clinical cases or for routine high-performance surveillance.
Yes.
If Staph aureus is an issue in the herd. Can be scheduled when needed.
Yes.
24/7 on-farm.
Can be done during milking or at freshening or dry off.
No.
Need booking a long time in advance if herd testing. (Yes if testing during milking with inline SCC system)
Typically, only at times of herd testing or during expensive Emergency Herd Tests.Yes.
24/7
Yes.
24/7
NANo.
Implemented via milk quality labs
No, usually
Business days only.
Yes.
Always available when you need it from on-farm with Check-Up to rapid booking & results with Snapshot and Herdscreen.
Turn-around time36 hours48 to 72 hours12-18 hours for first resultsTypically, 5 days.Typically, 7 working days.typically, 15-24 hours.Typically, 24 hours.N/AUsually undertaken with milk collection on bulk tank only.3-14 business days to get your results.- 12 to 72 hours
- Always actionable
Minimum sampling?NoNoNoYes, whole herd.Yes. Typically 25 animals when in conjunction with herd test.NoNoNAYes, whole herd.NoNo
Quantitative AssessmentYes.Yes.Yes.
Number of colonies.
Yes.
SCC level.
No.
Just a Yes/No statement about presence of bacterial DNA (one to four target bacteria only)
Yes.
Presence of a subset of bacteria causing mastitis. Antibiotic recommendation for all samples.
NoNAYesYesYes
Controls UsedYesYesYesNoPrimers from typical examples are used and may be incomplete.NoVariableNoYesYesYes
Double confirmation for most pathogensYesYesYesNoNoNoNoNANoNoYes
Ease of useN/AN/AModerateN/AN/AModerateModerate, Most are difficult to interpret.N/AN/AN/AModerate for Check-Up
Interference from minor contaminants?NormalNormalNormalN/AHighHighNormalNAHighNormalNormal
Sensitivity
(ability to detect pathogen)
HighVery HIghHighN/A
Herd Testing does not detect pathogens.
Variable.
Possibility of being too sensitive returning positive results for samples from cows free of infection from incidental bacteria, or insensitive for milk samples with low levels of bacteria.
The more pathogens you are trying to identify, the lower sensitivity becomes.
Medium for selected pathogensMedium for specified pathogens, high for some.N/AN/AVery HIghHigh to Very High
Specificity
(ability to identify correctly the pathogens)
HighVery High (Staph aureus)HighN/A
Herd Testing does not detect pathogens.
Very high provided the primer is suited to the strain in the sample, and no interfering substances are present.Medium,
errors reported
Medium to High depending on system.HighN/AVery High if complex equipment is available.High to Very High
False positive risk? (incorrectly indicates the presence of a pathogen)LowLowLowHigh if used for the determination of Staph aureus cases.High,
depending on sampling. Amplification of present pathogen with no clinical relevance can be an issue. Cross contamination is a major risk of false positive, depending on sampling method used.
High,
minor contaminants can mean results are inaccurate.
LowN/ALowLowLow
False Negative risk (incorrectly indicates the absence of a pathogen)LowLowLowHigh if used for the determination of Staph aureus cases.It is common for genomes to contain unexpected mutations, which reduce or do away with the function of the PCRHigh,
limits on the media used, amount of bacteria present and the viscosity of the sample can impact test performance.
Depending on system, can be high if no controls are used. e.g: accumastNLowLowLow
Antibiotic resistance informationNoNoYesNoNoYesNoNANoYes (for large labs)Yes. Only for Check-Up
Inhibitor susceptibilityNormalNormalNormalN/AHighHigh because of the culture method. Inhibitors recommended may not work in treatment due to organisms not growing in the presence of the inhibitor, but remaining viable.NormalN/AN/ANormalNormal
Supplied as a kit?N/AN/AYesN/AN/ADepending on systemNoNANANAYes, Check-Up only
Biosecurity RiskN/AN/AN/AHigh, equipment is sent farm to farm and is difficult to clean.N/A unless via herd testing/ milk recording/DHIA, then high.N/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
ValidationThe Snapshot Mastitis Diagnostic Tool has been validated against standard NMC methods and by the latest techniques in modern microbiology including MALDI-TOF (Matrix Assisted Laser Desorption Ionization Time-of- Flight) technology.The Herdscreen Mastitis Diagnostic Tool has been validated against standard NMC methods and by the latest techniques in modern microbiology including MALDI-TOF (Matrix Assisted Laser Desorption Ionization Time-of- Flight) technology.The CHECK-UP Mastitis Diagnostic Tool has been validated against standard NMC methods and by the latest techniques in modern microbiology including MALDI-TOF (Matrix Assisted Laser Desorption Ionization Time-of- Flight) technology.NAThe Snapshot Mastitis Diagnostic Tools have been validated against standard NMC methods and by the latest techniques in modern microbiology including MALDI-TOF (Matrix Assisted Laser Desorption Ionization Time-of- Flight) technology.
Shelf lifeN/AN/A9 monthsNAVariable.12 months6 weeks usually to <6 months.Depends on vaccineNANA9 months for Check-Up
OtherSome bacteria such as Nocardia die when samples do not reach Lab quickly. Samples can easily become compromised from poor transit conditions.

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