How to treat or not to treat based on lab results?

Not all clinical mastitis cases are equal. Some benefit from antibiotic treatment, but many don’t.

What if there are no bacteria, or the bacteria causing mastitis does not need antibiotics since the cow’s defense system already kills them, or if the bacteria are not killed by the antibiotics? Do we still need to use antibiotics? Only for a third of the cases of mastitis. But how do we know which cases need antibiotics and which don’t?

Figure 1: Diagram for making clinical mastitis treatment decisions using pathogen identification results from the laboratory (Adapted from P.D. article).

The main Gram-positive bacteria causing mastitis include Streptococcus, coagulase-negative staphlylococcus and Staphylococcus aureus.

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