Somatic cell count during first and second lactation in ewes


  • Kristí­na Tvarožková Slovak University of Agriculture. Faculty of Agrobiology and Food Resources. Department of Veterinary Science. Tr. A. Hlinku 2. 949 76 Nitra.
  • Vladimí­r Tančin NPPC-Research Institute for Animal Production Nitra. Hlohovecká 2. 95141 Lužianky. Slovak Agricultural University Nitra, Tr. A. Hlinku 2, Nitra
  • Michal Uhrinčať NPPC-Research Institute for Animal Production Nitra. Hlohovecká 2. 95141 Lužianky.
  • Lucia Mačuhová NPPC-Research Institute for Animal Production Nitra. Hlohovecká 2. 95141 Lužianky.
  • Martina Vršková NPPC-Research Institute for Animal Production Nitra. Hlohovecká 2. 95141 Lužianky.
  • Marta Oravcová NPPC ”“ Research Institute for Animal Production Nitra, Hlohovecká 2, 95141 Lužianky, Slovakia, Tel.: +421376546622



Ewes, milk, somatic cell count, farm


The aim of this study was to describe the frequency of distribution of ewes in SCC groups on the basis SCS (somatic cells score) per lactation and estimate changes of SCC from 1st lactation on 2nd lactation. The experiment was carried at seven farms in 1st observed period (2016 and 2017) and at eight farms in 2nd observed one (2017 and 2018). Within each of periods the same animals were sampled on their 1st and following 2nd lactation in next year of study, only. Totally 1199 milk samples from 159 ewes and 1653 milk samples from 219 ewes were collected during 1st period and 2nd period, respectively. Milk sampling were taken monthly from April to August in both periods. For evaluation only ewes with minimum three sampling per year (minimum six samples per animal) were included in the study within both periods. The ewes were divided into the five SCC groups on basis of their SCS per lactation: G1 = SCC <200 × 103 cells.mL-1, G2 = SCC ≥200 <400 × 103 cells.mL-1, G3 = SCC ≥400 <600 × 103 cells.mL-1, G4 = SCC ≥600 <1000 × 103 cells.mL-1 and G5 = SCC ≥1000 × 103 cells.mL-1. In total statistically significant impact of parity on SCC in 2nd period was detected (p <0.0001) only. From the farm point of view in 1st period only in two farms and in 2nd one in five farms significant effect of parity was found out. Thus in some farms no increase of SCC from first to second lactation was observed. When comparing the changes in SCC from the first to the second lactation in both first and second periods, 6.92% and 10.96%, respectively ewes moved from SCC group G1 to G5. The significant effect of farm management and parity on SCC was demonstrated.


Download data is not yet available.


Metrics Loading ...


Arias, R., Oliete, B., Ramón, M., Arias, C., Gallego, R., Montoro, V., Gonzalo, C., Pérez-Guzmán, M. D. 2012. Long-term study od environmental effects on test- day somatic cell count and milk yield in Manchega sheep. Small Ruminant Research, vol. 106, no. 2-3, p. 92-97. DOI:

Berthelot, X., Lagriffoul, G., Concordet, D., Barillet, F., Bergonier, D. 2006. Physiological and pathological thresholds of somatic cell counts in ewe milk. Small Ruminant Research, vol. 62, no. 1-2, p. 27-31. DOI:

Caboni, P., Manis, C., Ibba, I., Contu, M., Coroneo, V., Scano, P. 2017. Compositional profile of ovine milk with a high somatic cell count: A metabolomics approach. International Dairy Journal, vol. 69, p. 33-39. DOI:

Diaz, J. R., Romero, G., Muelas, R., Sendra, E., Pantoja, J. C. F., Paredes, C. 2011. Analysis of the influence of variation factors on electrical conductivity of milk in Murciano-Granadina goats. Journal of Dairy Science, vol. 94, no. 8, p. 3885-3894. DOI:

Gonzáles-Rodríguez, M. C., Gonzalo, C., San Primitivo, F. C. 1995. Relationship between somatic cell count and intramammary infection of the half udder in dairy ewes. Journal of Dairy Science, vol. 78, no. 12, p. 2753-2759. DOI:

Hussein, H. A., El-Khabaz, K. A. S., Malek, S. S. 2015. Is udder ultrasonography a diagnostic tool for subclinical mastitis in sheep? Small Ruminant Research, vol. 129, p. 121-128. DOI:

Idriss, S. E., Tančin, V., Margetín, M., Tančinová, D., Sláma, P., Havlíček, Z. 2015. Frequency of distribution of somatic cell count in dairy ewe's milk. Journal of Microbiology Biotechnology and Food Sciences, vol. 4, no. 3, p. 148-151. DOI:

Kern, G., Traulsen, I., Kemper, N., Krieter, J. 2013. Analysis of somatic cell counts and risk factors associated with occurrence of bacteria in ewes of different primary purposes. Livestock Science, vol. 157, no. 2-3, p. 597-604. DOI:

Marogna, G., Rolesu, S., Lollai, S., Tola, S., Leori, G. 2010. Clinical findings in sheep farms affected by recurrent bacterial mastitis. Small Ruminant Research, vol. 88, no. 2-3, p. 119-125. DOI:

Olechnowicz, J., Jaskowski, J. M. 2005. Somatic cells in sheep milk. Medycyna Weterynaryjna,vol. 61, no. 2, p 136-141.

Oravcová, M., Mačuhová, L., Tančin, V. 2018. The relationship between somatic cells and milk traits and their variation in dairy sheep breeds in Slovakia. Journal of Animal and Feed Sciences, vol. 27, no. 2, p. 97-104. DOI:

Ozenc, E., Seker, E., Baki Acar, D., Birdane, M. K., Darbaz, I., Dogan, N. 2011. The importance of staphylococci and threshold value of somatic cell count for diagnosis of subclinical mastitis in Pirlak sheep at mid- lactation. Reproduction in Domestic Animals, vol. 46, no. 6, p. 970-974. DOI:

Paschino, P., Vacca, G. M., Dettori, M. L., Pazzola, M. 2019. An approach for the estimation of somatic cell´s effect in Sarda sheep milk based on the analysis of milk traits and coagulation properties. Small Ruminant Research, vol. 171, p. 77-81. DOI:

Pengov, A. 2001. The Role of Coagulase- Negative Staphylococcus spp. and Associated Somatic Cell Counts in the Ovine Mammary Gland. Journal of Dairy Science, vol. 84, no. 3, p. 572-574. DOI:

Persson, Y., Nyman, A. K., Söderquist, L., Tomic, N., Waller, K. P. 2017. Intramammary infections and somatic cell count in meat and pelt producing ewes with clinically healthy udders. Small Ruminant Research, vol. 156, p. 66-72. DOI:

Queiroga, M. C. 2017. Prevalence and aetiology of sheep mastitis in Alentejo regions of Portugal. Small Ruminant Research, vol. 153, p. 123-130. DOI:

Romero, G., Roca, A., Alejandro, M., Muelas, R., Díaz, J. R. 2017. Relationship of mammary gland health status and other noninfectious factors with electrical conductivity of milk in Manchega ewes. Journal of Dairy Science, vol. 100, no. 2, p. 1555-1567. DOI:

Sani, R. N., Mahdavi, A., Moezifar, M. 2015. Prevalence and etiology of subclinical mastitis in dairy ewes in two seasons in Semman province Iran. Tropical Animal Health and Production, vol. 47, no. 7, p. 1249-1254. DOI:

Sutera, A. M., Portolano, B., Di Gerlando, R., Sardina, M. T., Mastrangelo, S., Tolone, M. 2018. Determination of milk production losses and variations of fat and protein percentages according to different levels of somatic cell count in Valle del Belice dairy sheep. Small Ruminant Research, vol. 162, p. 39-42. DOI:

Swiderek, W. P., Charon, K. M., Winnicka, A., Gruszczynska, J., Pierzchala, M. 2016. Physiological Threshold of Somatic Cell Count in Milk of Polish Heath Sheep and Polish Lowland Sheep. Annals of Animal Science, vol. 16, no. 1, p. 155-170. DOI:

Takano, P. V., Scapini, V. A. D. C., Valentini, T., Girardini, L. K., De Souza, F. N., Della Libera, A. M. M. P., Heinemann, M. B., Chande, C. G., Cortez, A., Collet, S. G., Diniz, S. A., Blagitz, M. G. 2018. Milk cellularity and intramammary infections in primiparous and multiparous Lacaune ewes during early lactation. Small Ruminant Research, vol. 167, p. 117-122. DOI:

Tančin, V., Baranovič, Š., Uhrinčať, M., Mačuhová, L., Vršková, M., Oravcová, M. 2017. Somatic cell count in raw ewes milk in dairy practice: frequency of distribution and possible effect on milk yield and composition. Mljekarstvo, vol. 67, no. 4, p. 253-260. DOI:

Tančin, V., Tvarožková, K., Holko, I., Uhrinčať, M., Mačuhová, L., Vršková, M., Oravcová, M. 2018. The importance of somatic cell count in mastitis diagnostic in ewes. Brno, Czech republic: XLVIII. Lenfeldovy a Höklovy dny, p. 296-299. ISBN 978-80-7305-808-1.

Vasileiou, N. G. C., Chatzopoulos, D. C., Gougoulis, D. A., Sarrou, S., Katsafadou, A. I., Spyrou, V., Mavrogianni, V. S., Petinaki, E., Fthenakis, G. C. 2018. Slime-producing staphylococci as causal agents of subclinical mastitis in sheep. Veterinary Microbiology, vol. 224, p. 93-99. DOI:

Vršková, V., Tančin, V., Kirchnerová, K., Sláma, P. 2015. Evaluation of daily milk production in Tsigai ewes by somatic cell count. Potravinarstvo, vol. 9, no. 1, p. 206-210. DOI:

Zigo, F., Vasiľ, M., Takáč, L., Elečko, J., Tomko, J., Chripková, M. 2017. Mastitis pathogens isolated from samples of milk in dairy sheep and their rezistance. International Journal of Scientific Research, vol. 6, no. 8, p. 298-300.



How to Cite

Tvarožková, K. ., Tančin, V. ., Uhrinčať, M. ., Mačuhová, L. ., Vršková, M. ., & Oravcová, M. . (2019). Somatic cell count during first and second lactation in ewes. Potravinarstvo Slovak Journal of Food Sciences, 13(1), 396–401.

Most read articles by the same author(s)

1 2 > >> 

Similar Articles

You may also start an advanced similarity search for this article.