Microbiological content of cow milk depending on season and herd size in Latvian organic farms

Gundega Gulbe, Anda Valdovska

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


The objective of the study was to investigate the microbiological content of cow (Bos primigenius) milk in Latvian organic farms according to season and herd size with a purpose to detect their impact on the distribution of mastitis causing pathogens in milk. Samples were collected in 14 organic dairy farms of Latvia, 4 times through 2012: in winter, autumn, spring and summer period. Raw milk samples (n=564) obtained from cow composite milk were studied. The samples were divided into three groups in accordance with the number of cows in the cow-shed: A (3-30), B (31-60) and C (61-124). The total colony count (TTC) and the isolation of mastitis causing bacteria were analysed using standard methods. Bacterial growth occurred in 90.4% of samples. Isolated microorganisms belonged to 35 species, and the following bacteria were the most prevalent agent, including Coagulase negative staphylococci in 29.4%, Staphylococcus aureus in 24.1%, Kocuria kristinae in 12.9%, and Enterobacteriaceae spp. in 10.3% out of 564 milk samples. Depending on the season, the average number of TCC was the lowest in summer (4.66 ± 4.01 log10 CFU mL-1), moderately higher in spring and winter (4.72 ± 4.18 and 4.82 ± 3.54 log10 CFU mL-1, respectively), but significantly higher in autumn (5.43 ± 4.80 log10 CFU mL-1). Coliforms were not isolated from group A herds instead of B (3.1%) and C (4.6%). Occurrence of Staphylococcus aureus was noticeably higher in B (19.1%) and C (20.8%) than in A (12.6%) herds. Most of group A herds met the milk quality requirements, while group C herds produced more contaminated milk.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)162-167
Number of pages6
JournalResearch for Rural Development
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes
EventAnnual 20th International Scientific Conference Proceedings, 2014 - Jelgava, Latvia
Duration: 21 May 201423 May 2014
Conference number: 20


  • Microbiological quality
  • Organic farming
  • Raw milk

Field of Science*

  • 1.6 Biological sciences
  • 2.9 Industrial biotechnology

Publication Type*

  • 3.3. Publications in conference proceedings indexed in Web of Science and/or Scopus database


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