Dairy Herd Health
Mastitis - Holstein cow big udder full of milk


Bovine mastitis is the foremost endemic infectious disease of dairy cattle and remains a major challenge to the UK and global dairy industries.

As well as being financially the most important disease of dairy cattle, mastitis is also important in terms of cow welfare and the sustainability of dairy farming.

Current research

Our current projects are generally related to:

  • determining mechanisms behind infection processes and disease dynamics using molecular and epidemiological techniques
  • decision making around cost effectiveness of intervention strategies for mastitis control iii) optimising dry period management to reduce mastitis
  • clinical and social approaches to enhance the delivery of a nationwide control scheme for mastitis in Great Britain. 

Examples include:

  • Evaluating whether the mammary microbiomes is important to mammary gland health (BBSRC)
  • An assessment of mass spectroscopy to differentiate sub species of mastitis pathogens to inform disease control (Innovate UK/BBSRC)
  • Bayesian approaches to optimise decision making for mastitis control (BBSRC)


Our research has led to the design and national implementation of a new approach to mastitis control on British dairy farms ‘DairyCo Mastitis Control Plan’. 

Started in 2009, the programme was introduced on farms holding more than 10-15% of all British dairy cows. The scheme is continually increasing and is estimated to generate savings to the industry of around £3m per year.





Dairy Herd Health

The University of Nottingham
School of Veterinary Medicine and Science
Sutton Bonington Campus, Leicestershire, LE12 5RD

telephone: +44 (0) 115 951 6116
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