Antibiotic susceptibility patterns for environmental streptococci isolated from bovine mastitis in central California dairies

P. V. Rossitto, L. Ruiz, Y. Kikuchi, K. Glenn, K. Luiz, J. L. Watts, James S Cullor

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83 Scopus citations


Environmental streptococci are frequently isolated from bovine mastitis in dairy cows with only limited information available on the antimicrobial susceptibility of these organisms. A total of 362 environmental streptococci isolated from cases of bovine mastitis from the central San Joaquin Valley of California over a 3-yr period were used in the study. Overall, 39.9% of the strains tested were Streptococcus uberis, 42.2% were Streptococcus dysgalactiae, and 11.1% were Enterococcus spp. The antimicrobial susceptibility for these organisms was determined for the following antimicrobial agents: penicillin, ampicillin, cephalothin, ceftiofur, penicillin + novobiocin, erythromycin, pirlimycin, tetracycline, and sulfadimethoxine. Results demonstrate substantial differences in the susceptibility patterns for the various organisms collectively referred to as the environmental streptococci. The MIC 90 for penicillin was 0.06 μg/ml for 152 strains of S. dysgalactiae compared with 0.25 μg/ml for 133 strains of S. uberis. However, the Enterococcus spp. were the most resistant organisms tested. These data also indicate that the use of interpretive criteria based on human data may provide misleading results. In conclusion, these data confirm that the environmental streptococci are a diverse group of organisms comprised of several different genera and species and that identification of environmental streptococci to the species level is needed to appropriately modify control methods. Moreover, the use of the agar disk diffusion (Kirby-Bauer) susceptibility test for agents with human-based interpretive criteria is contraindicated, and these tests should only be performed with agents with mastitis specific interpretive criteria.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)132-138
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Dairy Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2002


  • Antimicrobial susceptibility
  • Bovine mastitis
  • Enterococci
  • Streptococci

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • veterinary(all)
  • Food Science


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