The present study was undertaken to clarify the factors that reduce the viable pathogen count in milk collected from the udders of subclinical mastitic cows during preservation. Milk was centrifuged to divide somatic cells (cellular components, precipitates) and antimicrobial peptides (soluble components, supernatants without fat layer); each fraction was cultured with bacteria, and the number of viable bacteria was assessed prior to and after culture. In 28.8% of milk samples, we noted no viable bacteria immediately after collection; this value increased significantly after a 5-hr incubation of milk with cellular components but not with soluble components (48.1% and 28.8%, respectively). After culture with cellular components, the numbers of bacteria (excluding Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus uberis) and yeast decreased dramatically, although the differences were not statistically significant. After cultivation with soluble components, only yeasts showed a tendency toward decreased mean viability, whereas the mean bacterial counts of S. uberis and T. pyogenes tended to increase after 5-hr preservation with soluble components. These results suggest that most pathogens in high somatic cell count (SCC) milk decreased during preservation at 15 to 25°C, due to both the cellular components and antimicrobial components in the milk. Particularly, the cellular components more potently reduced bacterial counts during preservation.