Introduction: The aim of the study was to analyse the value of a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) examination of bulk tank samples for bovine mastitis pathogens as a tool to estimate the within herd prevalenceof these pathogens.
A total of 6,335 quarter milk samples were collected from 1,615 cows farms in Germany. Additionally, two bulk tank milk samples were collected from each farm. The quarter milk samples were cultivated in the laboratory of Animal Disease Fund (Jena, Thuringia, Germany). The bulk tank milk samples were tested by the commercial PCR assay Mastit 4 (DNA Diagnostic, Denmark) that identified Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus dysgalactiae, Streptococcus agalactiae and Streptocuccus uberis.