November 19, 2020

Interpretive Summary: Genes associated with somatic cell count index in Brown Swiss cattle

Interpretive Summary: Genes associated with somatic cell count index in Brown Swiss cattle

By Anne Zinn

Subclinical mastitis, caused by contagious environmental pathergones, is one of the most common diseases of cows in milk production herds. Since there are no visible abnormalities in the milk or udder, the detection of subclinical mastitis requires special diagnostic tests. The nist common test used to detect changes in milk due to the inflammatory process is somatic cell count. A research team from the Agricultural Institute of Slovenia has previously developed a somatic cell count index, a new method for the accurate prediction of milk yield losses caused by elevated somatic cell count. To further this understanding, Jeretina & Skok conducted a new study, aiming to identify new candidate genetic markers for the somatic cell count index in the Slovenian population of Brown Swiss cattle.

Published in the most recent edition of the Journal of Animal Science, results indicated significant effects of bovine genomics variations on the somatic cell count index in the Slovenian Brown Swiss population. Some of the single-nucleotide polymorphisms included in the study with an effect on the somatic cell count index map can be found in protein-coding genes. Those genes as well as the single-nucleotide polymorphisms associated with mastitis-related traits from this study can serve as strong candidates for the marker-assisted selection programs in Slovenian Brown Swiss population and possibly other populations of cattle.

The full paper can be found on the Journal of Animal Science website.