Article

Factors affecting mammary gland immunity and mastitis susceptibility

College of Veterinary Medicine, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan, USA
Livestock Production Science 05/2005; 98:89-99. DOI: 10.1016/j.livprodsci.2005.10.017

ABSTRACT Dairy cattle are more susceptible to mastitis during the periparturient period. It is well established that the incidence of mastitis with respect to lactation stage are directly related to changes in the composition, magnitude, and efficiency of the mammary gland defense system. There exist numerous genetic, physiological, and environmental factors that can compromise host defense mechanisms during the functional transitions of the mammary gland. For example, physiological stresses associated with rapid differentiation of secretory parenchyma, intense mammary gland growth, and the onset of milk synthesis and secretion are accompanied by a high energy demand and an increased oxygen requirement. This increased oxygen demand augments the production of oxygen-derived reactants, collectively termed reactive oxygen species (ROS). The excessive accumulation of ROS can lead to a condition referred to as oxidant stress that plays a central role in mediating uncontrolled inflammatory responses and causing tissue injury. While the last two decades have seen major progress in understanding the bovine mammary gland defense system and its function in preventing disease, diminished host defenses and increased susceptibility to mastitis continue to be a problem for dairy cattle during transition periods. This paper provides an overview of mammary immunobiology and describes those factors known to influence important mammary gland defenses during the periparturient period.

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    ABSTRACT: The biological cycles of milk production and reproduction determine dairying profitability thus making management decisions dynamic and time-dependent. Diseases also negatively impact on net earnings of a dairy enterprise. Transition cows in particular face the challenge of negative energy balance (NEB) and/or disproportional energy metabolism (fatty liver, ketosis, subacute, acute ruminal acidosis); disturbed mineral utilization (milk fever, sub-clinical hypocalcemia); and perturbed immune function (retained placenta, metritis, mastitis). Consequently NEB and reduced dry matter intake are aggravated. The combined effects of all these challenges are reduced fertility and milk production resulting in diminishing profits. Risk factors such as NEB, inflammation and impairment of the immune response are highly cause-and-effect related. Thus, managing cows during the transition period should be geared toward reducing NEB or feeding specially formulated diets to improve immunity. Given that all cows experience a reduced feed intake and body condition, infection and inflammation of the uterus after calving, there is a need for further research on the immunology of transition dairy cows. Integrative approaches at the molecular, cellular and animal level may unravel the complex interactions between disturbed metabolism and immune function that predispose cows to periparturient diseases.
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    ABSTRACT: Focus Many different bacterial species have the ability to cause a repeated infection of the bovine mammary gland and the host response to these infections is what is generally described as mastitis. In this article I will try to explain why the development of vaccines against mastitis-causing pathogens is so difficult. However, I will also provide insight into new developments regarding vaccination against two main bacterial species causing bovine mastitis: Escherichia coli and Staphylo-coccus aureus. I will also describe that the host immune response differs significantly depending on the invading bacterial species, and that this may affect our ability to generate vaccines able to induce a long lasting memory. The relevance of fully understanding the bovine host response to intramammary infection is discussed, some major gaps in our knowledge are highlighted and direc-tions for future research are indicated.
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