Evaluation of Herbal Remedies as Alternatives to Antibiotic Therapy in Dairy Cattle

2010 Annual Report for GS10-094

Project Type: Graduate Student
Funds awarded in 2010: $9,990.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2013
Grant Recipient: North Carolina State University
Region: Southern
State: North Carolina
Graduate Student:
Major Professor:
Dr. Steven Washburn
North Carolina State University
Major Professor:
Dr. Kevin Anderson
North Carolina State University

Evaluation of Herbal Remedies as Alternatives to Antibiotic Therapy in Dairy Cattle


Treatments have been administered to nearly half of the dairy cattle enrolled in the study and sample collection is ongoing. Dairy farmers have received training on how to collect sterile milk samples. Analysis of data has not yet begun, but good-quality samples have been processed and entered into a database for future analysis.

Objectives/Performance Targets

1.) Engage dairy farmers in mastitis research by teaching them how to administer intramammary products and how to take milk samples aseptically
1a.) Provide each dairy with a milk collection kit
2.) Determine the efficacy of Phyto-Mast and Cinnatube:
2a.) Assign treatments to each herd to increase the power of the experiment
2b.) Assess the presence and amount of bacteria on each participating farm prior to treatment and after freshening
2c.) Measure milk production and somatic cell count of each cow and compare between the pre-treatment lactation and post-treatment lactation production and SCC


Objectives 1, 1a and 2b have been completed. A total of 1637 samples have been collected thus far and evaluated for both milk microbiology and somatic cell count; this includes all pre- and post-treatment samples from the research herd. Three other farms are actively contributing to the project and another herd or two will likely be enrolled in the coming year. Participating farmers are more than willing to contribute to the research and have been taking high-quality milk samples.

Impacts and Contributions/Outcomes

This research will help dairy producers in the Southern Region understand that alternatives to antibiotics exist for treating mammary infections in dairy cattle. If these alternatives are proven effective at eliminating current and preventing future infections, there is potential for both organic and conventional dairy producers to use the alternatives. This, in turn, benefits consumers by eliminating the risk of antibiotic residues in milk/meat and by lowering the contribution of the dairy industry to the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.


Dr. Kevin Anderson

North Carolina State University
Box 8401
Department of Population Health and Pathobiology
Raleigh, NC 27695-8401
Office Phone: 9195136245
Keena Mullen

Graduate Research Assistant
North Carolina State University
Box 7621 Department of Animal Science
Raleigh, NC 27695-7621
Office Phone: 9195151370