QMMS offers FIVE main services to the dairy industry.

  • Our Milk Recording service varies from ad hoc testing of occasional samples through to a full milk recording service compliant with all of the latest industry standards. Our service is unique in that it is focused on delivering management advice aimed at improving business profitability and not on identifying the ‘best’ or ‘worst’ cow in the herd. Our service if fast, flexible and competitively priced.
  • Our milk antibody testing for Johnes Disease uses the IDEXX ELISA and testing can be carried out in conjunction with your QMMS milk recording or independent of your regular recording service. The testing frequency can be tailored to the requirements of your herd (you are not 'locked in' to quarterly testing) and we offer a ‘selective’ testing service to reduce testing frequency for cows at reduced risk - based on published research.
  • Our Bacteriological Analysis service exceeds all current national and international standards and is centered on a sound, evidence based, scientific approach. Our team has extensive experience in the laboratory based identification of mastitis pathogens and is backed by RCVS Specialist veterinary interpretation. We regularly analyse both individual quarter and bulk milk tank analyses, as well as offering water testing.
  • At QMMS we regularly offer Consultancy Advice to all aspect of the dairy industry. We are available to offer impartial RCVS Recognised Specialist advice working in close collaboration with the attending veterinarian where appropriate.
  • One of the strengths of QMMS is our involvement in the ‘cutting edge’ of mastitis research and the application of our findings in the field. Our involvement in research ensures that we are able to deliver evidence based services which the user can be sure are based on sound science.

As well as performing ad hoc milk testing (butterfat, protein, lactose, somatic cell count and non-protein nitrogen (urea)) we offer a DIY milk recording service that can be tailored to your specific needs. All analyses are performed according to the guidelines of the International Committee of Animal Recording (ICAR) of which QMMS Ltd is a Full Member.

Our milk recording service has been audited and has achieved the ICAR Certificate of Quality. Our milk recording service includes basic on-farm management software at no additional cost (software developed by SUM-IT Computer Systems to QMMS Specifications).


Download our milk recording BROCHURE


Key facts about our milk recording services are:

  1. Different service levels from ad hoc testing to a full milk recording service
  2. Factored milk recording available
  3. On farm management software included in the price
  4. Powerful management reports, adding value to your data, delivered direct to your desktop
  5. Compatible with existing on farm software (see below)
  6. Cost effective and competitively priced
  7. Backed by RCVS Recognised Specialist veterinary advice
  8. Awarded ICAR Certificate of Quality for Production Recording (Milk Recording) in Dairy Cattle


The QMMS milk recording service is widely compatible with a range of on-farm software, including (but not limited to):

  1. SUM-IT Total Dairy and DairyMate
  2. Uniform Agri
  3. Interherd
  4. Farm Wizard
  5. Computing for Farming
  6. GEA DairyPlan C21
  7. Other parlour software via 3rd party link


Our services are also compatible with all the major supermarket contracts, Breeding+ and pedigree recording


Pregnancy Diagnosis

Milk recording samples can also be processed for Pregnancy Associated Glycoprotein (PAG), an indicator of early pregnancy in dairy cows. Samples submitted for milk recording can be selected out to confirm PD+ status in cows that are approaching drying-off to compliment the routine fertility work offered by your veterinary surgeon. Please ask for more details.

Johne’s disease is the clinical syndrome of end-stage infection with the bacteria Mycobacterium avium paratuberculosis or 'MAP' for short.

Whilst many infected cows never go on to develop the classic signs of extreme weight loss, infected cows are very likely to have reduced performance and are very likely to shed bacteria in dung and milk. Shedding of bacteria poses a huge infection risk to young animals and therefore segregation of infected cows around calving is an essential step for reducing prevalence.

Milk ELISA tests offer a rapid, cost effective and valuable method of monitoring the herd prevalence of MAP infection, allowing timely and evidence based implementation of control strategies. Individual cow milk ELISA testing allows you to screen cows for antibodies to infection and highlight positive cows (and therefore those likely to be infected) and manage them differently to break the cycle of transmission.

Download our Johnes Disease testing BROCHURE


QMMS categorises the milk MAP ELISA results as follows:

Positive (two ELISA test positives out of the last three tests) - these cows are more likely to be infected and are not re-classified once they are categorised as positive, regardless of any subsequent ELISA test results;

Provisionally positive (the latest milk ELISA test is positive);

Uncertain (antibody test is very close to threshold and/or cows that have previously tested positive but have since tested negative);

Currently negative (all tests negative or previously tested positive once but have subsequently tested negative on three consecutive occasions). 

As milk ELISA testing will result in some apparent positive results being ‘false’ positives, particularly in low prevalence herds that test relatively frequently, culling a cow based on one positive test result is not recommended. At least two positive tests should be obtained before making definitive decisions as this will increase the certainty that the cow is infected.

The aim of milk ELISA testing should always be to risk manage those cows that are more likely to be infected and segregate these cows from calving areas and the colostrum pool. In reality this means that any cows that are currently listed as 'positive', 'provisionally positive' or 'uncertain' should be identified and managed differently at drying-off in conjunction with advice from your veterinary surgeon

As with our milk recording and bacteriology services, the MAP ELISA service is backed by Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons Recognised specialist advice, helping with interpretation of results and enabling a unique ‘joined-up’ approach to the control of Johne’s disease in your herd.

The suggested QMMS protocol has a strong evidence-base and outlines our interpretation of the latest research evidence on the application of milk MAP ELISA’s and may therefore change as more research in this area is published. Full integration with on farm software is available in conjunction with SUM-IT Computer Systems. In the absence of compatible on farm software your results will be emailed as .pdf files reporting both your current and historic results.




We offer a full range of bacteriological analyses from individual cow samples to bulk tank analyses, as well as water analysis. We aim to tailor bacteriology to the individual farm, ensuring that we make cost effective use of your investment – we won’t sell you tests you don’t need.

Our individual cow bacteriology exceeds the recommendations of the National Mastitis Council (NMC) and is designed to maximize the opportunity of isolating and identifying the problem pathogens on your farm. Our individual cow bacteriology uses a full range of laboratory tests and a standard 72 hour incubation period to identify causal bacteria and does not make ‘presumptive’ diagnoses.

As with all our services, results are backed by RCVS Recognised Specialist veterinary advice.











Click here for our latest Bacteriology Services brochure


Key facts about our bacteriology services:

  • Individual cow bacteriology and antibiotic sensitivity testing
  • Bulk tank screens and analysis
  • High Bactoscan investigation including differential counts
  • Water analysis (bacteriology only)
  • Techniques exceed the recommendations of the National Mastitis Council
  • Latest techniques including MALDI-TOF-MS typing (unique to the UK)
  • Mycoplasma spp. testing available (14 day minimum turn around time)
  • Results include interpretation and comments by RCVS Recognised Specialist veterinary surgeons
  • Full sampling kits including detailed instructions available on request


Samples that are collected from clinical cases and/or high somatic cell count cows arrive at the lab and are plated out onto different media to enhance recovery of pathogens, particularly E. coli and Streptococcus uberis. Growth of bacterial colonies occurs from 24 hours - but can take as long as 72 hours for some species. Initial diagnosis is made using bench tests before colonies are transferred to MALDI-TOF for definitive diagnosis. Interim reports are made available from 24 hours if required - final reports are sent after 72 hours incubation by email.


Frequently asked questions:

Why should I submit samples for bacteriology?

Sampling cases of clinical mastitis and periodically submitting these for bacteriology testing will give valuable information about the type of bacteria causing infections. This information can be used alongside cell count and mastitis case data to provide insight into appropriate changes required to improve udder health.

Do I have to freeze samples for bacteriology?

If you are collecting samples from clinical cases or high cell count cows, freezing allows the sample to 'keep' for longer, and frozen samples will remain viable for 6 months, allowing batches of samples to be submitted. If you are submitting bulk tank samples or water samples for differential counts, these must NOT be frozen

What about testing for Mycoplasma species?

QMMS offers Mycoplasma culture and speciation, although this carries a minimum of 2 weeks turn around. Bear in mind that some Mycoplasma bacteria are less pathogenic than others. Whilst samples are incubated for Mycoplasma culture, standard bacteriology testing is also carried out to rule out involvement with other pathogens.

 Do you test all isolates for sensitivity to antibiotics?

No, we only test isolates from samples as requested. However, we routinely test all Staphylococcus aureus isolates for penicillin sensitivity as this can be a useful indicator of likely response to treatment.

Is it worth culturing my bulk tank to try to identify mastitis pathogens?

This is a difficult question and the answer is not straight forward. In reality it depends on what pathogens you are looking for. For contagious pathogens that are ‘specific’ to the udder, such as Streptococcus agalactiae and to a lesser extent Staphylococcus aureus this can be a useful screening exercise (though the former is now very rare in the UK). It can also be a useful way to screen a herd for the presence of Mycoplasma spp. However, for most bacterial species (particularly environmental organisms) bulk tank bacteriology is NOT useful as the organism is unlikely to have originated from another infected cow. That said, on occasions the presence of large numbers of Streptococcus uberis in a bulk milk sample can reflect the presence of an infected cow in the herd.

We’re starting ‘selective dry cow therapy’ – should we do some bacteriology? If so what’s appropriate?

We recommend strategic sampling of some high SCC cows in late lactation to better understand the pathogens you need to cure at drying off and of clinical mastitis cases in early lactation to get an insight into the main pathogens causing new intramammary infection in the dry period. A bulk tank sample is NOT an appropriate way to approach or justify blanket antibiotic use at drying off.



At QMMS we are involved in many aspects of mastitis and milk quality consultancy and training, varying from providing individual on-farm consultancy in conjunction with the local veterinary surgeon, through to providing training to all aspects of the industry, encompassing mastitis and milk quality management.


Individual Farm Consultancy

Vet advising a farmerOur individual on-farm consultancy is based around our unique approach to the analysis of clinical mastitis and somatic cell count data using the TotalVet software. Herds that are experiencing increased somatic cell counts and/or increased rates of clinical mastitis will benefit from an improved understanding of underlying patterns in new infection rates, new clinical case rates, cure rates and more.

Combining analysis of on-farm data with visits to review the current management, including dry cow environment, parlour routine, lactating cow housing etc allows for specific interventions to be agreed and a targeted approach to reducing the rate of new disease.



   The analysis of clinical mastitis data is particularly important to understand patterns of disease on farm, especially in low somatic cell count herds.


   A crucial element to the clinical mastitis data analysis is to monitor the rate of new clinical cases in cows less than 30 days in milk, as these clinical cases are likely to be a result of infections acquired during the dry period, and therefore require a different approach to management.



Combining patterns in clinical mastitis data, analysis of somatic cell count records and recent bacteriology results from clinical cases allows for a HERD DIAGNOSIS to be made, and a structured approach to reducing mastitis.


Industry Training

QMMS Ltd is also able to provide 'on farm' and CPD training to all aspects of the industry, encompassing mastitis and milk quality management. We cover a range of topics delivered in lecture style with visits to local herds where appropriate to highlight specific points. Examples include:

  • Mastitis Diagnostics
  • Mastitis Therapeutics
  • Mastitis Research (review of recent publications and likely impact)
  • Dry Cow Management
  • Environment Management
  • Selective Dry Cow Therapy
  • Mastitis and Milk Harvesting
  • Mastitis Problem Solving (based on delegates own herd examples)


Many of these courses are delivered to veterinary surgeons in practice, where the combination of real herd data with latest research findings allows vets to keep up to date with their Continuing Professional Development (CPD)


At a national and international level QMMS are also involved in delivery of software and pharmaceutical development.

We are actively involved in all aspects of research, working with all aspects of the industry, investigating the latest techniques to improve milk quality and reduce mastitis on farm.

We collaborate extensively with both the commercial and public sectors in a range of products from development of mastitis management protocols through to assessing the efficacy of new treatment regimes. We are able to offer facilities for both laboratory and field based research (conducted to VICH-GCP) and have access to a large group of farmers well acquainted with conducting clinical studies.

Recent projects have included the piloting of a new national mastitis control strategy and assessment of dry cow therapy regimes and assessment of the latest diagnostic tests.