A cross-sectional study was conducted from December 2016 to May 2017 in and around Sebeta town with the aim of assessing the prevalence of mastitis, isolation of aerobic bacterial and fungal causal agents and assessing antimicrobial resistance pattern of isolated Staphylococcus species in dairy cows. From a total of 383 dairy cows, 220 (57.4%) were found to be positive for mastitis of which 10.4% were affected by clinical mastitis and 47% by subclinical mastitis. Mastitis was more likely to occur in cows above 8 years of age (OR = 16.9, 95% CI = 7.8 - 36.00) and in those cows washed by hand before milking (OR =7.8, 95% CI = 4.2-14.6) as compared to those subjected to udder washing and drying using towels. Staphylococcus aureus was the most frequently isolated bacterial species (25%) followed by Streptococcus agalactiae (12.3%) and coagulase negative Staphylococcus species (10.5%). Yarrowia lipolytica (10.9%) and Candida etchellsii (7.3%) were the major yeast species isolated, while Aspergillus (6.8%), Mucor (5.9%), Penicillium (3.6%) and Fusarium (3.6%) were the major filamentous fungi species identified from the cultured milk samples. The results of antimicrobial susceptibility testing revealed that the isolated Staphylococcus species were highly resistant to penicillin G (93.1%) and oxytetracycline (79.3%) but were susceptible to vancomycin (100%), sulphamethoxazole/trimethoprim (96.6%), ampicillin (89.7%) and erythromycin (86.2%). It could be concluded that bovine mastitis is a major challenge to the dairy producers in and around Sebeta towns. Appropriate control and preventative measures must be instituted and dairy farmers and workers must be trained on proper milking and hygiene practices in order to reduce the prevalence of mastitis in this region. The penicillin resistant S. aureus could be a source of serious infection in humans as well and hence comprehensive studies including molecular characteristics of drug resistance gene of S. aureus especially of methicillin-resistant should be conducted as farm animals, primarily dairy cattle might serves as a reservoir of infection for humans. In 2% of the cases, only fungal species were identified as causes of mastitis, hence further investigation regarding their pathogenicity and contribution to bovine mastitis is needed.
Key words: Antimicrobial resistance, bovine mastitis, bacteria, Ethiopia, fungus, prevalence, Sebeta.
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