Original Research

Bovine mastitis prevalence and associated risk factors in dairy cows in Nyagatare District, Rwanda

Blaise Iraguha, Humphrey Hamudikuwanda, Borden Mushonga
Journal of the South African Veterinary Association | Vol 86, No 1 | a1228 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/jsava.v86i1.1228 | © 2015 Blaise Iraguha, Humphrey Hamudikuwanda, Borden Mushonga | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 10 September 2014 | Published: 14 July 2015

About the author(s)

Blaise Iraguha, Rwanda Dairy Competitiveness Program II, Kigali, Rwanda
Humphrey Hamudikuwanda, Rwanda Dairy Competitiveness Program II, Kigali, Rwanda
Borden Mushonga, Department of Veterinary Medicine, University of Namibia, Namibia


In response to farmer requests after milk from their herds was rejected by processors due to poor quality, a study was carried out from April to October 2011 to determine the prevalence of sub clinical mastitis, associated risk factors and causative micro-organisms. Samples were collected from 195 dairy cows on 23 randomly selected dairy farms delivering milk to Isangano, Kirebe and Nyagatare milk collection centres in Nyagatare District, Rwanda. The Draminski® Mastitis Detector was used to detect sub clinical mastitis in individual cows based on milk electrical conductivity changes. Risk factors for mastitis that were evaluated included teat-end condition, cow dirtiness, breed, parity, age and stage of lactation. Relationships of these factors with mastitis status were determined using Chi-square analysis, and relative importance as causes of mastitis was assessed using logistic regression. Samples from 16 sub clinical mastitis positive dairy cows were analysed to identify causative micro-organisms using Dairy Quality Control Inspection analytical kits. Sub clinical mastitis prevalence was 52% across the farms. It was higher with increases in, amongst other risk factors, teat-end damage severity, cow dirtiness, and level of pure dairy breed genetics. The risk factors considered accounted for 62% of mastitis prevalence; teat-end condition alone accounted for 30%. Most of the mastitis cases (87.5%) were caused by coliform bacteria. Considering that farmers are upgrading their local Ankole cows to cross-breed dairy cows that are more susceptible to mastitis, results from this study indicate the need to dip the teats of cows in sanitisers, improve cow hygiene, and introduce mastitis prevention and control programmes.


Subclinical mastitis; prevalence; risk factors; mastitis detection; cows


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Crossref Citations

1. A cross sectional study of prevalence and risk factors associated with subclinical mastitis and intramammary infections, in dairy herds linked to milk collection centers in Rwanda
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Preventive Veterinary Medicine  vol: 179  first page: 105007  year: 2020  
doi: 10.1016/j.prevetmed.2020.105007