Prof. Siamba Donates an EKOSCAN Machine for Research and Training on Somatic Cell Count
Vice Chancellor, Prof. Ipara Odeo receiving donation of an EKOSCAN Machine for Research and Training on Somatic Cell Count from Prof. Siamba on Wednesday 26th September, 2018.
The Somatic Cell Count (SCC) is a main indicator of milk quality. Cell counts tend to reflect a response to infections of the udder commonly referred to as mastitis. In a normal lactating animal-human being included, small number of cells of epithelial cells andwhite blood cellsare shed from inside of the udder. Essentially, a lower SCC indicates better animal health, as somatic cells originate only from inside the animal’s udder. SCC monitoring is important because as the number of somatic cells increases, milk yield is likely to fall, primarily due to the damage to milk-producing tissue in the udder caused by mastitis pathogens and the toxins they produce, particularly when epithelial cells are lost.
Direct or reference (arbitration) method of somatic cells count in milk is a microscopic method which involves the counting of the stained somatic cells using a microscope. It is a very time- and labour-consuming method which also requires highly qualified personnel. It is because of the complexity and laboriousness of the microscopic method,that indirect methods of somatic cells count have been developed. These include:
- -Viscosimetric method;
- -Conductance-measuring method;
- -Optofluoroelectronic method/ fluorescence flow cytometry method
The EKOSCAN is an indirect action devise based on viscosimetric method (viscosimetric somatic cells analyzers) and it measures the viscosity of milk. Tested milk sample is mixed up with a special chemical preparation (Mastoprim) which destroys somatic cells’ membranes (leukocytes), resulting in DNA molecules which come in a solution, increasing its viscosity.
The higher somatic cells number in a tested milk sample the more viscous (thick and stringy) is the mixture. Viscosimetric somatic cell analyzer measures/ determines the time of outflow of the tested sample through a special capillary with a known diameter and displays the results in accordance with the calibration chart that reflects the compliance of the outflow time with the somatic cells number.
The macine can also be calibrated into aBactoscanto indicate the level of bacterial contamination from external sources, such as insufficient cleaning of the milking equipment or poor udder and teat preparation prior to milking, and can indicate a high level of environmental pathogens.