[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Bovine lactoferrin (bLF) is a member of the transferrin family; it plays an important role in the innate immune response. We identified novel splice variants of the bLF gene in mastitis-infected and healthy cows. Reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and clone sequencing analysis were used to screen the splice variants of the bLF gene in the mammary gland, spleen and liver tissues. One main transcript corresponding to the bLF reference sequence was found in three tissues in both healthy and mastitis-infected cows. Quantitative real-time PCR analysis showed that the expression levels of the LF gene's main transcript were not significantly different in tissues from healthy versus mastitis-infected cows. However, the new splice variant, LF-AS2, which has the exon-skipping alternative splicing pattern, was only identified in mammary glands infected with Staphylococcus aureus. Sequencing analysis showed that the new splice variant was 251 bp in length, including exon 1, part of exon 2, part of exon 16, and exon 17. We conclude that bLF may play a role in resistance to mastitis through alternative splicing mechanisms.