Data were collated for an independent scientific analysis from 2 international, multicenter studies that had compared the efficacy of 3 different cephalosporin-containing intramammary preparations in the treatment of clinical mastitis in dairy cattle [cefalexin (first generation) in combination with kanamycin; cefquinome (fourth generation); and cefoperazone (third generation)]. Quarters were assessed using standard bacteriological techniques before treatment and at 16 and 25 d posttreatment. Additional data were also available on individual cows and study farms, including parity, breed, and cow somatic cell count histories, herd bulk milk somatic cell counts, and farm management regimens. Sufficient data for analysis were available from a total of 491 cases on 192 farms in 3 countries (United Kingdom, France, and Germany) with up to 16 cases being recruited from any one farm. Clinical cases were of diverse etiology, representing both contagious and environmental pathogens. Univariable analysis demonstrated that quarters in the cefalexin + kanamycin and cefquinome treatment groups were not significantly different from each other, but were both significantly more likely to be pathogen free posttreatment than quarters in the cefoperazone group. Multivariable analysis was undertaken using conventional random effects models. Two models were built, with the first incorporating only information available to the practitioner at the time of treatment and the second including all information collected during the study. These models indicated that country, pretreatment rectal temperature (above-normal temperature associated with an increased chance of being pathogen free posttreatment), individual cow somatic cell count (increased somatic cell count associated with a decreased chance of being pathogen free posttreatment), and pathogen (Staphylococcus aureus isolation associated with a decreased chance of being pathogen free posttreatment) were useful predictors of pathogen free status; parity, yield, bulk milk somatic cell counts, and other farm management factors were not. The importance of country in the analysis demonstrates the need to generate local data when assessing treatment regimens. In addition, these results suggest that the factors important in predicting the outcome of treatment of clinical mastitis cases may be dissimilar to those reported to affect the likelihood of cure when treating subclinical intramammary infections.
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