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    The objective of this observational cross-sectional study was to describe the cleanliness of various equipment used for colostrum harvest and calf feeding procedures on dairy farms in Québec, Canada. The study was performed on 42 commercial dairy herds also enrolled in another study aiming to determine the transfer of passive immunity over a 14-mo period. Information on colostrum quality (using Brix value) and cleanliness (total aerobic and total coliform count) were recorded as well as various practices focused on colostrum-feeding equipment and preweaning period using a standard questionnaire. During the study period, colostrum and milk-feeding equipment cleanliness was assessed using direct surface swabbing with Hygiena Ultrasnap swabs. A total of 155 swab samples were obtained from 6 pieces of equipment. Adenosine triphosphate collected from the swabbed surface reacts with the luciferase solution present in the swab by bioluminescence, which is proportional to the quantity of ATP present and quantified as relative light units (RLU). The description of feed equipment cleanliness (defined as the maximal RLU found for a specific herd, dichotomized as <1,000 RLU vs. ≥1,000 RLU) was compared with the herds' descriptive characteristics, focusing on the first 2 components of a multiple correspondence analysis. The median (range) RLU for buckets used for colostrum harvest, bucket or bottle used for feeding, tube feeders, milking colostrum line, and internal surface of the nipples were 41 RLU (3-1,625 RLU), 78 RLU (<1-3,765 RLU), 29 RLU (<1-2,177 RLU), 83 RLU (<1-9,968 RLU), and 1,101 RLU (2-9,546 RLU), respectively. The first 2 components of multiple correspondence analysis explained 24.7% of data variances and were related to the farms' hygiene and health (13.0%) and feeding practices (11.7% of data variance). The maximal dichotomized luminometry value (<1,000 RLU or ≥1,000 RLU) was associated with hygiene and health dimension. This study gave promising results concerning the potential application of ATP luminometry for calf rearing practices assessment. The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. and Fass Inc. on behalf of the American Dairy Science Association®. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (


    Sébastien Buczinski, Marie-Pascale Morin, Jean-Philippe Roy, Marjolaine Rousseau, Marianne Villettaz-Robichaud, Jocelyn Dubuc. Use of ATP luminometry to assess the cleanliness of equipment used to collect and feed colostrum on dairy farms. Journal of dairy science. 2022 Feb;105(2):1638-1648

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    PMID: 34802728

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