Year of Publication


Document Type





Animal Science

First Advisor

Robert Harmon


Infection data were obtained monthly from June, 1999 to September, 2000 at the University ofKentucky dairy. Quarter foremilk samples were collected for bacteriological determination andsomatic cell counts (SCC). The Livestock Stress Index (LSI) estimated heat stress and is calculatedby combination of temperature and humidity. For uninfected quarters the geometric mean SCC was29,000 cells/ml. For infected quarters the geometric mean SCC was 213,000 cells/ml. Coagulasenegativestaphylococci (CNS) infections comprised 61 percent of the total infected quarters with ageometric mean SCC of 155,000 cells/ml. Staphylococcus aureus infected quarters had a geometricmean SCC of 680,000 cells/ml. There were no significant correlations between log SCC and LSIwhen looking at the total sample period. However, evaluating October, 1999 through September,2000, significant correlations were found for LSI and log SCC of uninfected quarters (P andlt; 0.05) and`infected quarters (P andlt; 0.0001). All correlation coefficients were less than 0.12. The results suggest nomarked changes in SCC were observed in uninfected quarters during hot summer weather. Hotsummer weather may have a minor impact on SCC in infected quarters, but the effect is variable.Thus, infection status of the mammary gland, not heat stress, is the major factor determining SCC.