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Journal of Animal Health and Production

Review Article
J. Anim. Health Prod. 6(1): 18-26
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Tariq Ahmad Malik1*, Madhu Mohini1, Shahid Hassan Mir1, Bilal Ahmad Ganaie2, Digvijay singh1, Tarun Kumar Varun1, Sanjay Howal1, Shubham Thakur1

1Animal Nutrition Division, ICAR – National Dairy Research Institute, Karnal, Haryana 132001, India; 2Division of Animal Reproduction, Gynaecology and Obstetrics, ICAR – National Dairy Research Institute, Karnal, Haryana 132001, India.

Abstract | The production of high-quality milk is a prerequisite for sustaining a profitable dairy industry. The number of somatic cells (macrophages, polymorphonuclear neutrophils, lymphocytes and epithelial cells) per mL of milk, usually called somatic cell count (SCC) is routinely used to identify subclinical mastitis and define quality standards. Elevated SCCs are associated with changes in milk composition, resulting in poor quality of milk and milk products. SCC in milk is influenced by many factors, such as animal species, milk production level, lactation stage and also the individual and environmental factors besides management practices. A threshold of <200,000 cells/mL is considered to be of the most practical value for determining the health of mammary quarter. This review aims to highlight the importance of somatic cells for improving udder health and quality of milk as well as milk products.

Keywords | Mastitis, Somatic cell count, Milk quality, Immunity, Management