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The Characterization of the Mammary Gland Cellular Immune Response as a Potential Target for Novel Approaches to Manage Dry Cow Mastitis


This is a collaborative study on the management of dry cow mastitis. This project looks at the mammary gland cellular immune response as a potential target for novel non-antibiotic approaches to manage this disease. The working hypothesis is that the cytokine profile will not change from dry off and through the first 14 days of the dry off period in quarters that are naturally infected with Streptococcus family bacteria as compared to quarters that are not infected.

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NON-TECHNICAL SUMMARY: There is a critical need for a mechanism of performing rapid response, applied research on dairy herd health and on-farm food safety problems. Mastitis is a serious problem of the dairy industry and the long term goal of this project is to identify a specific cytokine or cytokines that may correlate with either resistance or clearance of Strep mastitis. <P>APPROACH: <OL> <LI> Cows will be selected from the 2nd - 3rd lactation as they enter the dry off period. <LI> Cows will be pre-screened for mastitis or inter-mammary infections via somatic cell counts and routine culture. The goal is to enroll 10 cows with clean quarters and 20 cows with at least one quarter infected with a Strep spp. bacteria. It is expected that a total of 180 cows will be screened over 6 weeks. <LI> Cows will be managed under standard dry off protocols in place at the dairy farm throughout the entire trial period. <LI> Sampling times will be at pre-screening, at dry off, at 7 days after dry off, at 14 days after dry off, at calving, and at 5 days post calving. <P> The following assays will be performed: somatic cell count and routine culture, RNA extraction for mRNA PCR analysis, RT PCR for cytokine panel, and flow cytometry. The data will be analyzed.

Cullor, James
University of California - Davis
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