A study on the prevalence of gram-negative bacteria in bulk tank milk

B. M. Jayarao, L. Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

82 Scopus citations


Bulk tank milk from 131 dairy herds in eastern South Dakota and western Minnesota were examined for coliforms and noncoliform bacteria. Coliforms were detected in 62.3% of bulk tank milk samples. Counts ranged from 0 to 4.7 log10 cfu/ml. The mean count was 3.4 log10 cfu/ml. Gram-negative noncoliform bacteria were observed in 76.3% of bulk tank milk. Counts ranged from 0 to 6.2 log10 cfu/ml. The mean count was 4.8 log10 cfu/ml. A total of 234 isolates from bulk tank milk were examined to species level; 205 isolates belonged to 28 species. Coliforms and gram-negative noncoliform bacteria accounted for 32.9 and 67.1% of the total isolates, respectively. Organisms such as Agrobacterium radiobacter, Bordetella spp., Comamonas testosteroni, Listonella damsela, Ochrobactrum anthropi, and Oligella urethralis were isolated from bulk tank milk in this study. These organisms have not been reported previously in bulk tank milk. A total of 116 isolates of Pseudomonas spp. were isolated from raw milk; 98 isolates belonged to nine Pseudomonas spp., and the remaining 18 isolates could not be identified to their species level. Pseudomonas was the most pre-dominant genus. Pseudomonas fluorescens was the most predominant species isolated from bulk tank milk and accounted for 29.9% of all isolates examined. The results of the study suggest that counts of coliforms and noncoliform bacteria in bulk tank milk vary considerably. The isolates represent a wide variety of Gram-negative bacterial species. Examination of bulk tank milk for coliforms and noncoliform bacteria could provide an indication of current and potential problems associated with bacterial counts and milk quality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2620-2624
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of dairy science
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1999

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Food Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Genetics


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