Published online by Cambridge University Press: 22 February 2018
Heat stress (HS) negatively affects milk production and has been associated with decreased immune function, and increased rate of intramammary infections (IMI). Research has shown that HS affects gene expression, cell cycle, and cell metabolism in bovine mammary epithelial cells (BMEC). Since BMEC are an initial target of mastitis pathogens, we studied adherence to and internalisation of S. uberis into HS-BMEC, as well as the effect that this interaction has on host cells by measuring HS-BMEC viability and membrane integrity. Results reported in this Research Communication showed that HS reduced cell viability and induced membrane damage. However, these pathological changes, as well as the rate of adherence and internalisation of S. uberis into BMEC, were augmented when S. uberis was cocultured with HS-BMEC. These results may help to understand the pathogenesis of S. uberis IMI as well as the increased susceptibility of mammary glands to IMI in cows subjected to HS.