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Anim Biosci > Accepted Articles
https://doi.org/10.5713/ab.20.0720    [Accepted] Published online April 23, 2021.
Somatic cell score: gene polymorphisms and other effects in Holstein and Simmental cows
Jindřich Čítek1,*  , Michaela Brzáková2  , Lenka Hanusová1  , Oto Hanuš3  , Libor Večerek1  , Eva Samková1  , Eva Jozová1  , Irena Hoštičková1  , Jan Trávníček1  , Martin Klojda1  , Lucie Hasoňová1 
1South Bohemia University, Faculty of Agriculture, CZ37005 Ceske Budejovice, Czech Republic
2Institute of Animal Science, Department Genetic and animal breeding, CZ104 00 Prague, Czech Republic
3Dairy Research Institute, CZ16000 Prague, Czech Republic
Correspondence:  Jindřich Čítek, Tel: +420-387772591, Fax: +420-387772593, Email: citekjc@seznam.cz
Received: 14 October 2020   • Revised: 1 February 2021   • Accepted: 2 April 2021
The aim of the study was to evaluate the influence of gene polymorphisms and nongenetic factors on the somatic cell score (SCS) in the milk of Holstein (n=148) and Simmental (n=73) cows and their crosses (n=6).
The somatic cell score was calculated by the formula SCS = log2(SCC/100 000)+3, where SCC is the somatic cell count. Polymorphisms in the CSN1S1, CSN2, CSN3, LGB, DGAT1, LEP, FASN, SCD1 and AGPAT6 genes were genotyped, and association analysis to the SCS in the cow´s milk was performed. Further, the impact of breed, farm, year, month of the year, lactation stage and parity on the SCS were analysed. Phenotype correlations among SCS and milk constituents were computed by Pearson correlation coefficients.
Only CSN2 genotypes A1/A2 were found to have significant association with the SCS (p<0.05), and alleles of CSN1S1 and DGAT1 genes (p<0.05). Other polymorphisms were not found to be significant. SCS had significant association with the combined effect of farm and year, lactation stage and month of the year. Lactation parity and breed had not significant association with SCS. The phenotypic correlation of SCS to lactose content was negative and significant, while the correlation to protein content was positive and significant. The correlations of SCS to fat, casein, nonfat solids, urea, citric acid, acetone and ketones contents were very low and not significant.


Only CSN2 genotypes, CSN1S1 and DGAT1 alleles did show an obvious association to the SCS. The results confirmed the importance of general quality management of farms on the microbial milk quality, and effects of lactation stage and month of the year. The lactose content in milk reflects the health status of the udder.
Keywords: Dairy Cattle; Breed; Milk; Caseins; Lactose; DGAT1

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