Evaluation of microscopic protocols for somatic cell counts in milk of dairy sheep

ABSTRACT: The somatic cell count (SCC) is a diagnostic tool that indicates the mammary gland health and can be determined by the counting of cells in the microscope. There are discussions regarding appropriate staining method to the ewes’ milk. The present study aimed to identify a methodology of microscopic SCC proper to the milk of the ovine species. Therefore, glass slides for smear were manufactured with 10 µL of ewe’s milk in 1 cm2, and the fixers xylol and Carnoy’s solution were tested, as well as and May-Grünwald, Broadhurst-Paley, Wrigth and Panoptic stainings. Carnoy’s solution was elected, because it allowed a better fixation of the dairy film to the microscope slides, and Broadhurst-Paley staining, due to its good coloration and visualization of cells, as well as the differentiation of cytoplasmic corpuscles in ewe’s milk. Broadhurst-Paley coloration is a tool applicable to the somatic cell count in ovine specie’s milk.