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The objective of this study was to determine the relationships among severity and duration of clinical mastitis during first and second lactation and sire transmitting abilities for somatic cell score, udder type traits, productive life, and protein yield. Recording of clinical episodes began at first parturition for 1704 Holstein cows (in six Pennsylvania herds and one Nebraska herd) and continued into second lactation for 1055 of these cows. A total of 456 cows (sired by 168 bulls) had at least one clinical episode during first lactation, and 230 cows (sired by 100 bulls) had at least one clinical episode during second lactation. A severity code from 1 (normal milk) to 5 (acute systemic mastitis) was assigned daily (for up to 30 d after detection) to all quarters that had clinical mastitis. Only the severity codes for the first clinical episode to occur during first and second lactation are considered here. The initial and maximum severity codes, as well as the natural logarithms of both the sum of severity codes that were above normal (> 1) and the total days severity codes were above normal were regressed on herd (a classification variable), age at first calving, days in milk at clinical detection, and sire transmitting abilities taken one at a time. Linear and nonlinear effects were estimated for sire transmitting abilities. Separate analyses were conducted on dependent variables that considered severity and duration of clinical mastitis from: all organisms, coagulase-negative staphylococci, coliform species, streptococci other than Streptococcus agalactiae, and the most common environmental organisms (coliform species and streptococci other than Streptococcus agalactiae). Daughters of sires that transmit the lowest somatic cell score had the least severe and shortest clinical episodes from environmental organisms during first lactation. Selection for lower somatic cell score may reduce the severity and duration of clinical episodes from environmental organisms during first lactation.