Occurence and antimicrobial resistance of common udder pathogens isolated from sheep milk in Slovakia


  • Ivan Holko VETSERVIS, s.r.o. Kalvária 3, 94901 Nitra, Slovakia https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8273-9241
  • Vladimí­r Tančin Slovak University of Agriculture, Faculty of Agrobiology and Food Resources, Department of veterinary science, Tr. A. Hlinku 2, 949 76 Nitra, Slovakia; NPPC-Research Institute for Animal Production Nitra, Hlohovecká 2, 95141 Lužianky, Slovakia https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2908-9937
  • Kristí­na Tvarožková Slovak University of Agriculture, Faculty of Agrobiology and Food Resources, Department of Veterinary Disciplines, Trieda A. Hlinku 2, 949 76 Nitra, Slovakia https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4989-6138
  • Peter Supuka VETSERVIS, s.r.o., Kalvária 3, 94901 Nitra, Slovakia
  • Anna Supuková VETSERVIS, s.r.o., Kalvária 3, 94901 Nitra, Slovakia
  • Mačuhová Lucia NPPC-Research Institute for Animal Production Nitra, Hlohovecká 2, 95141 Lužianky, Slovakia https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9624-1348




sheep, milk, mastitis, pathogen, antibiotic


The aim of this work is to identify the spectrum, frequency and antimicrobial resistance of bacterial pathogens occurring in sheep dairy herds in Slovakia. Of a total of 310 samples of sheep's milk coming from three breeds during two seasons (2017 and 2018), at least one potential pathogen was isolated from 102 samples (32.9%). A total of 131 microbial isolates were isolated. The most represented species were coagulase negative staphylococci CoNS (75.6%), followed by Streptococcus agalactiae (10.7%), Staphylococcus aureus (6.9%), Streptococcus dysgalactiae (4.6%), Escherichia coli (1.5%), Enterococcus faecium (1.5%), and others (Streptococcus uberis, Streptococcus parauberis, Candida sp., Klebsiella sp., moulds) below 1%. A total of 99 isolates of CoNS were tested for antimicrobial resistance. Of these, 63.6% were resistant to at least one antibiotic. A total of 24.2% of the tested isolates were resistant to 3 groups of antimicrobials simultaneously (multi-drug resistance). The highest resistance was observed to lincomycin (57.6%) and neomycin (36.4%), the lowest to sulfamethoxazolum+trimethoprim (0%) and enrofloxacin (3.0%). Based on the results of this work, it is possible to assume a similar spectrum of pathogens and their antimicrobial resistance described in the literature also within the Slovak sheep  farms focused on milk production.


Download data is not yet available.


Allerberger, F., Wagner, M., Schweiger, P., Rammer, H. P., Resch, A., Dierich, M. P., Friedrich, A.W., Karch, H. 2001. Escherichia coli O157 infections and unpasteurised milk. European Surveillance, vol. 6, no. 10, p. 147-151. https://doi.org/10.2807/esm.06.10.00379-en DOI: https://doi.org/10.2807/esm.06.10.00379-en

Ariznabarreta, A., Gonzalo, C., San Primitivo, F. 2002. Microbiological quality and somatic cell count of ewe milk with special reference to staphylococci. J. Dairy. Sci., vol. 85, no. 6, p. 1370-1375. https://doi.org/10.3168/jds.S0022-0302(02)74203-3 DOI: https://doi.org/10.3168/jds.S0022-0302(02)74203-3

Bergonier, D., Berthelot, X. 2003. New advances in epizootiology and control of ewe mastitis. Livest. Prod. Sci., vol. 79, no. 1, p. 1-16. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0301-6226(02)00145-8 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/S0301-6226(02)00145-8

Bergonier, D., Berthelot, X., Romeo, M., Contreras, A., Coni, V., De Santis, E., Roselu, S., Barillet, F., Lagriffoul, G., Marco, J. 1999. Frequency of various germs responsible for clinical and subclinical mastitis in small dairy ruminants (Fréquence des différents germes responsables de mammites cliniques et subcliniques chez les petits ruminants laitiers). In: Barillet, F., Zervas, N. P. Milking and milk production of dairy sheep and goats. Wageningen, The Netherlands : Wageningen Press, p. 130-136. ISBN 9789074134644. (In French)

Burriel, A. R. 1997. Dynamics of intramammary infection in the sheep caused by coagulase-negative staphylococci and its influence on udder tissue and milk composition. Vet. Rec., vol. 140, no. 16, p. 419-423. https://doi.org/10.1136/vr.140.16.419 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1136/vr.140.16.419

CLSI (Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute). 2008 Development of In Vitro Susceptibility Testing Criteria and Quality Control Parameters for Veterinary Antimicrobial Agents. Approved Guideline VET02-A3. 3rd ed. Wayne, Pennsylvania : Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute. 43 p. ISBN 1-56238-660-3.

CLSI. 2013 Performance Standards for Antimicrobial Disk and Dilution Susceptibility Tests for Bacteria Isolated From Animals. Approved Standard VET01-A4. 4th ed. Wayne, Pennsylvania : Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute, 156 p. ISBN 978-1-68440-008-9.

Contreras, A., Sierra, D., Sanchez, A., Corrales, J. C., Marco, J. C. 2007. Mastitis in small ruminants. Small Rumin. Res., vol. 68, no. 1-2, p. 145-153. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.smallrumres.2006.09.011 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.smallrumres.2006.09.011

De Buyser, M. L., Dufour, B., Maire, M., Lafarge, V. 2001. Implication of milk and milk products in food-borne diseases in France and in different industrialised countries. Int. J. Food Microbiol., vol. 67, no. 1-2, p. 1-17. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0168-1605(01)00443-3 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/S0168-1605(01)00443-3

Fthenakis, G. C. 1994. Prevalence and aetiology of subclinical mastitis ewes of Southern Greece. Small Rumin. Res., vol. 13, no. 3, p. 293-300. https://doi.org/10.1016/0921-4488(94)90078-7 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/0921-4488(94)90078-7

Gonzalo, C., Ariznabarreta, A., Carriedo, J. A., San Primitivo, F. 2002. Mammary pathogens and their relationship to somatic cell count and milk yield losses in dairy ewes. J. Dairy Sci., vol. 85, no. 6, p. 1460-1467. https://doi.org/10.3168/jds.S0022-0302(02)74214-8 DOI: https://doi.org/10.3168/jds.S0022-0302(02)74214-8

Hariharan, H., Donachie, W., Macaldowie, C., Keefe, G. 2004. Bacteriology and somatic cell counts in milk samples from ewes on a Scottish farm. Canadian J. Vet. Res., vol. 68, no. 3, p. 188-192.

Harmon, R. J. 1994. Physiology of mastitis and factors affecting somatic cell count. J. Dairy Sci., vol. 7, no. 7, p. 2103-2112. https://doi.org/10.3168/jds.S0022-0302(94)77153-8 DOI: https://doi.org/10.3168/jds.S0022-0302(94)77153-8

Harrington, P., Archer, J., Davis, J. P., Croft, D. R., Varma, J. K., EIC officers. 2002. Outbreak of Campylobacter jejuni infections associated with drinking unpasteurized milk procured through a cow-leasing program-Wisconsin, 2001. Morb. Mortal. Wkly. Rep., vol. 51, p. 548-549.

Jones, J. E. T. 1991. Mastitis in sheep. In Owen, J. B., Axfor, R.F.E. Breeding for Disease Resistance in Farm Animals. Bangor, Tucson, AZ : CAB International, p. 412-423. ISBN 0851993257.

Kumar, R., Yadav, B. R., Singh, R. S. 2009. Genetic determinants of antibiotic resistance in Staphylococcus aureus isolates from milk of mastitic crossbred cattle. Curr. Microbiol., vol. 60, no. 5, p. 379-386. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00284-009-9553-1 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00284-009-9553-1

Lafi, S. Q., Al-Majali, A. M., Rousan, M. D., Alawneh, J. M. 1998. Epidemiological studies of clinical and subclinical ovine mastitis in Awassi sheep in northern Jordan. Prev. Vet. Med., vol. 33, no. 1-4, p. 171-181. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0167-5877(97)00048-2 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/S0167-5877(97)00048-2

Las Heras, A., Vela, A. I., Fernández, E., Legaz, E., Domínguez, L., Fernández-Garayzábal, J. F. 2002. Unusual Outbreak of Clinical Mastitis in Dairy Sheep Caused by Streptococcus equi subsp. zooepidemicus. J. Clin. Microbiol., vol. 40, no. 3, p. 1106-1108. https://doi.org/10.1128/JCM.40.3.1106-1108.2002 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1128/JCM.40.3.1106-1108.2002

McIntyre, L., Fung, J., Paccagnella, A., Isaac-Renton, J., Rockwell, F., Emerson, B., Preston, T. 2002. Escherichia coli O157 outbreak associated with the ingestion of unpasteurized goat’s milk in British Columbia, 2001. Can. Commun. Dis. Rep., vol. 28, no. 1, p. 6-8.

Mork, T., Waage, S., Tollesrud, T., Kvitle, B., Sviland, S. 2007. Clinical mastitis in ewes; bacteriology, epidemiology and clinical features. Acta. Vet. Scand., vol. 49, no. 1, p. 23. https://doi.org/10.1186/1751-0147-49-23 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1186/1751-0147-49-23

Pengov, A. 2001. The role of coagulase-negative Staphylococcus spp. and associated somatic cell count in the ovine mammary gland. J. Dairy Sci., vol. 84, no. 3, p. 572-574. https://doi.org/10.3168/jds.S0022-0302(01)74509-2 DOI: https://doi.org/10.3168/jds.S0022-0302(01)74509-2

Sawant, A. A., Gillespie, B. E., Oliver, S. P. 2009. Antimicrobial susceptibility of coagulase-negative Staphylococcus species isolated from bovine milk. Vet. Microbiol., vol. 134, no. 1-2, p. 73-81. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.vetmic.2008.09.006 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.vetmic.2008.09.006

Taponen, S., Pyörälä, S. 2009. Coagulase-negative staphylococci as cause of bovine mastitis - not so different from Staphylococcus aureus? Vet. Microbiol., vol. 134, no. 1-2, p. 29-36. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.vetmic.2008.09.011 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.vetmic.2008.09.011

Vasiľ, M., Elečko, J., Farkašová, Z., Zigo, F. 2018. Development of resistance to antibiotics in bacteria Staphylococcus spp. isolated from milk samples in the sheep breedings on east of Slovakia. Potravinarstvo Slovak Journal of Food Sciences, vol. 12, no. 1, p. 273-278. https://https://doi.org/10.5219/904 DOI: https://doi.org/10.5219/904

Virdis, S., Scarano, C., Cossu, F., Spanu, V., Spanu, C., Santis, E. P. L. 2010. Antibiotic resistance in Staphylococcus aureus and coagulase negative staphylococci isolated from goats with subclinical mastitis. Vet. Med. Int., vol. 2010, p. 5170-5176. https://doi.org/10.4061/2010/517060 DOI: https://doi.org/10.4061/2010/517060

Watson, D. L., Franklin, N. A., Davies, H. I., Kettlewell, P., Frost, A. J. 1990. Survey of intramammary infections in ewes on the New England Tableland of New South Wales. Aust. Vet. J., vol. 67, no. 1, p. 6-8. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1751-0813.1990.tb07381.x DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1751-0813.1990.tb07381.x

Zigo, F., Vasiľ, M., Kadáši, M., Elečko, J., Farkašová, Z. 2011. Bacteria Staphylococcus spp. isolated from mastitis of sheep and their enterotoxigenic properties. Potravinarstvo, vol. 5, no. 4, p. 70-72. https://doi.org/10.5219/171 DOI: https://doi.org/10.5219/171



How to Cite

Holko, I. ., Tančin, V. ., Tvarožková, K., Supuka, P., Supuková, A., & Lucia, M. (2019). Occurence and antimicrobial resistance of common udder pathogens isolated from sheep milk in Slovakia. Potravinarstvo Slovak Journal of Food Sciences, 13(1), 258–261. https://doi.org/10.5219/1067

Most read articles by the same author(s)

1 2 > >>