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Open Access Research article

Tissue distribution of cloxacillin after intramammary administration in the isolated perfused bovine udder

Manfred Kietzmann1*, Frank Niedorf1 and Jacques Gossellin2

Author Affiliations

1 Institute for Pharmacology, Toxicology, and Pharmacy, School of Veterinary Medicine, Hannover, Germany

2 Pfizer Animal Health, Sandwich, Kent, UK

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BMC Veterinary Research 2010, 6:46  doi:10.1186/1746-6148-6-46

Published: 6 October 2010



Various intramammary suspensions containing cloxacillin benzathine are registered for use in cattle as antibiotics for intramammary use at drying off. To ensure antibacterial efficacy, the glandular tissue concentration of an antimicrobial agent must be sufficient. Since the possibilities to measure concentrations in the different areas of the glandular tissue in vivo are very limited, it was the aim of the present study to examine the distribution of cloxacillin in vitro using the isolated perfused bovine udder.


Mammary glands taken at slaughter from healthy lactating cows were perfused in vitro with warmed and gassed Tyrode solution. 600 mg cloxacillin benzathine were administered as Orbenin Extra Dry Cow by the intramammary route to six front and rear quarters each. Samples of glandular tissue - at different distances from and vertical to the teat right up to the udder base - were gathered from the treated quarters after 6 h. Perfusate was also sampled before and hourly after treatment for 6 h. The cloxacillin content of the tissue samples and perfusate samples was analysed by high performance liquid chromatography.


The concentration of cloxacillin in the glandular tissue of front quarters measured 6 h after administration tended to decrease with increasing vertical distance from the teat. The decrease pattern of the concentration was not quite clear in rear quarters. A considerable variation in the tissue concentrations of cloxacillin was obvious, which reflects in vivo conditions. The concentrations measured in the perfusate samples were below the limit of quantification at all time points, indicating limited absorption of the antibiotic from the glandular tissue.


After intramammary administration of the dry off product containing cloxacillin benzathine concentrations of more than 0.5 μg/g (MIC) were reached in all regions of the front and rear quarters.