Case Study Of Antibiotics-What's The Alternative?

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Antibiotics- What’s the Alternative?

Whether you run an established organic dairy, are looking to convert to organic dairying or are a conventional farm battling resistant pathogen strains, effectively treating mastitis without the option antibiotics is a major concern. While antibiotics are the accepted and mostly preferred treatment route, their use in organic animals is prohibited and their overuse or incorrect administration has resulted in the emergence of pathogen strains that are resistant to subsequent treatment.
Mastitis is estimated to cost the dairy industry upwards of $35 billion per year and a clinical case can cost upwards of 375kg of production loss; approximately 5% of the lactation level. The organic dairy sector has experienced
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Field trials have shown that immunotherapy with Y Complex is as effective as antibiotics and more effective than NSAIDs (Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs). There has not been any evidence of adverse effects on the cow’s physiology or milk yield, similar yield and quality was seen after treatment with Y Complex. Milk only needs to be discarded for 2 days and researchers estimate that this treatment could save up to 100L/cow per treatment. Due to the high cost of antibiotics, immunotherapy as so far been regarded as a good potential alternative treatment route.

Administration • Intramammary
• Tincture
• Topical (gel, poultice, ointment)
• Whole herb addition to feed
Advantages • Lower toxicity risk
• Can be used in conjunction with antibiotics
• No indication of adverse effects
Disadvantages • Depending on administration route, may not stay in system long enough to clear persistent infections
• Dosage/strength must be adjusted for each cow
• Longer cure time
Tested Against • Staphylococcus spp.
• E. coli
• Streptococcus agalactiae
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Nisin has been experimentally incorporated into teat dip and it was found that the solution is less irritating than the traditional iodine or peroxide dips available, in addition to not contaminating the milk with disinfectant if not wiped off sufficiently. Lacticin 3147 has been investigated for use in dry cow therapy as a teat sealant. Initial testing found that it was not irritating and lowered the risk of contaminated milk. A major factor in the emergence of resistant pathogen strains is exposure the low doses of antibiotics during the dry period. A combination of Lacticin 3147 and antibiotics in teat sealant resulted in a 91% infection free rate compared to just 33% with antibiotics alone.
Similar treatment methods include phage therapy and lysin therapy. In phage therapy, a virus infects the bacterial cells but the host cells or protected. In lysin therapy, enzymes produced by phages (the bacterial virus) are administered. Both methods require only a small dose and target specific pathogens, but illicit an immune response so have no effect on reduction of SCC during the infection. Lysin therapy also requires that treatment is administered when bacteria are in the division stage to be

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