Sensitivity and specificity analysis for somatic cell count (SCC) used to predict bacteriolpgically positive subclinical mastitis at calving in a dairy herd with low SCC

John H. Kirk, Stephen L. Berry, James P. Reynolds, John Maas, Abbas Ahmadi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Scopus citations


Objective - Validate, by sensitivity and specificity analyses, use of somatic cell count (SCC) to predict bacteriologically positive subclinical mastitis in a California dairy herd with low SCC. Design - Study of monthly dairy herd improvement SCC obtained from the immediate preceding lactation and individual cow composite milk sample microbiologic isolates collected at calving. Animals - 515 California dairy cows with SCC and culture data. Procedure - Somatic cell count sensitivity and specificity analyses with combinations of SCC parameter and at various thresholds were done, using the bacterial isolates as the standard. Results - Combination of SCC threshold and SCC parameters could not bo developed that had sufficient sensitivity and specificity to be a useful predictor of cows that would calve with subclinical mastitis. Clinical Implication - Under the conditions at this par-ticular dairy, SCC could not be used as a basis of prediction of cows that would calve with bacteriologically positive subclinical mastitis or require selective nonlactating-cow antibiotic treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1054-1057
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
Issue number7
StatePublished - Apr 1 1996


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)

Cite this