The overall aim of this study was to compare different intervention strategies for clinical intramammary infections (IMI). We conducted a simulation study to represent a Danish dairy cattle herd with IMI caused mostly by Staphylococcus aureus and 9 different intervention strategies for clinical IMI. A standard intervention of 3 d of treatment consisting of intramammary injections for all clinical cases was used. Two of the strategies reflected the use of more antibiotics and 6 strategies reflected cow-specific treatment or culling decisions. For these strategies, we assessed the cost and effectiveness of culling as an IMI intervention. Our results showed that nearly all strategies could reduce the number of IMI cases [e.g., a median of 37 clinical cases with the extended intramammary treatment over 5 d strategy (Basic5) and 30 clinical cases with the cow culled with recovery probability below 50% (Before50)] compared with the standard intervention (median of 42 clinical cases). This happened alongside either increased antibiotic usage (e.g., from a median of 123 treatment days up to 179 treatment days with strategy Basic5) or an increased number of cows culled in relation to IMI (e.g., from a median of 16 up to 24 cows with strategy Before50). Strategies with more antibiotics or reactive culling had a slightly higher net income (e.g., €190,014 median net income with strategy Basic5 or €196,995 with strategy Before50 compared with €187,666 with the standard strategy). This shows that a cow-specific clinical intervention approach can be cost-effective in reducing IMI incidence.
- simulation model