Transmission Dynamics of Corynebacterium spp. Within Two Danish Dairy Cattle Herds

Carsten Kirkeby*, Tariq Halasa, Michael Farre, Galal Nazih Chehabi, Kaare Græsbøll

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Intramammary infections (IMI) can cause mastitis, a prevalent and costly infectious disease in dairy cattle worldwide. The IMI is caused by a range of bacteria, including Corynebacterium spp. Knowledge of the transmission dynamics of pathogens is generally sparse but essential to support decision-making; such as input to bioeconomic models. In this observational study, we explored the transmission dynamics of Corynebacterium spp. in two different Danish dairy cattle herds by testing monthly quarter-level milk samples of all lactating cows for 1 year. We estimated the prevalence for herd 1 and 2 to 24 and 11.7%, respectively, and the mean quarter-level incidence to be 8 and 6.5% per month, respectively. We compared a model for indirect transmission via the environment with a model with the direct contagious transmission and found that the latter model best explained the data. We estimated the daily mean quarter-level transmission rate to be 0.016 and 0.018 cases/quarter-day for herd 1 and 2, respectively. The mean recovery rate was 0.012 and 0.016 for herd 1 and 2, respectively. Consequently, the basic reproduction number for herd 1 and 2 was 1.27 and 1.10, respectively. This study highlights that Corynebacterium spp. can be prevalent within a herd and transmit directly between cows. Thus, future studies should investigate cost-effective control measures against Corynebacterium spp.
Original languageEnglish
Article number735345
JournalFrontiers in Veterinary Science
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Corynebacterium
  • Dairy cows
  • Intramammary infection
  • Mastitis
  • Transmission dynamics


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