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The primary objective of this study was to determine management practices concerning mastitis in Brandenburg, Germany, the prevalence of mastitis pathogens in dairy cows, and their resistance to selected antimicrobial agents. A further objective was to study the potential effect of parity and stage of lactation on the resistance of Staphylococcus aureus isolates against ampicillin. Milk samples for microbiological culture were collected from 4 groups of clinically healthy cows (first lactation, >1 lactation, >50 d in milk, and >250 d in milk; 8 cows/group) in 80 dairy herds. Resistance of gram-positive pathogens against 6 antimicrobial agents was tested using the broth microdilution method. Mastitis pathogens were isolated from 26.4% of the milk samples. Coagulase-negative staphylococci (CNS, 9.1% of quarters) and Corynebacterium bovis (7.3%) were the pathogens most frequently isolated. Among the major pathogens, Staph. aureus (5.7%) and Streptococcus uberis (1.0%) had the highest prevalence. Streptococcus agalactiae was isolated in samples from 29% of the herds. Although the prevalence of most pathogens was higher in older cows, the prevalence of CNS was higher in primiparous cows. Results of the mastitis control questionnaire showed that cows with clinical mastitis were transferred to a sick cow pen in 70% of the herds. Cephalosporins were the drug of first choice for treatment of clinical mastitis cases followed by fixed combinations of antimicrobial agents, beta-lactamase-resistant penicillins, and penicillin. Most farmers treated cows 3 to 4 times per case. Cloxacillin, alone or in combination, and penicillin were most often used for dry-cow therapy. Antimicrobial resistance of the pathogens was within the range of other reports. Resistance of Staph. aureus to ampicillin increased significantly during the first lactation. Further research is required to determine the factors that lead to the selection of Staph. aureus strains that are resistant to ampicillin during the first lactation.