Genetic relationship between clinical mastitis and several traits of interest in Spanish Holstein dairy cattle


  • María Angeles Pérez-Cabal UCM
  • Noureddine Charfeddine CONAFE


clinical mastitis, conformation, functionality, production


Genetic parameters of clinical mastitis (CM) and number of cases of mastitis (NCM) per lactation, as well as the association with five production traits, nine type traits, and four functional traits have been estimated using linear models in a population of 9,179 Spanish Holstein cows with 17,666 lactations. Estimated heritability for mastitis traits was 0.04-0.05 and the genetic correlation between them was 0.93. The genetic correlation between lactation somatic cell score (LSCS) and CM and NCM was 0.85 and 0.76, respectively, meaning that LSCS is not representing exactly mastitis infections. There was an unfavorable genetic correlation between production traits, days open, LSCS and mastitis, while a shallow and well attached udder helps reducing mastitis events. Thus, it is recommended to include clinical mastitis in the breeding goal and the most correlated traits in an udder health  index in order to achieve the maximum mastitis resistance.

Author Biographies

María Angeles Pérez-Cabal, UCM

Departamento de Producción Animal

Noureddine Charfeddine, CONAFE

Dpto. Técnico