Dairy farms across the Northeast are seeing the emergence and spread of a newly researched bacteria – Klebsiella. The dominant gram-negative or coliform mastitis some farms are dealing with, Klebsiella, is known to cause clinical mastitis, generally the greatest loss to dairy production and cow mortality rates. This bacteria can also be persistent, causing a long duration of infection. Antibiotic treatments have seen little success, and some research suggests that various strains may be evolving into host-adapted and potentially contagious strains.

What makes Klebsiella different than other coliform? Besides the longer duration of infection, it is also known to cause the most severe cases of mastitis and occurs more frequently in herds that have a low bulk tank somatic cell count. Summer stalls and beddings can become huge risk factors, so keeping those clean is vital, and poor cow positioning can lead to vulnerability through the accumulation of manure.

Read more on the new bug, risk factors, and possible solutions here.