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Intramammary infusion of a live culture for treatment of bovine mastitis: effect of live lactococci on the mammary immune response

  • Fiona Crispie (a1) (a2), Mercedes Alonso-Gómez (a3), Collette O'Loughlin (a3), Katja Klostermann (a1) (a2), James Flynn (a2), Seán Arkins (a3), William Meaney (a2), R Paul Ross (a1) and Colin Hill (a4)...

In the accompanying article, we demonstrated that a live culture of Lactococcus lactis compares favourably with antibiotics for treatment of bovine mastitis in two initial field trials. In an effort to explain the mechanism involved, this study investigated the effect of culture administration on the local immune response. In this respect we initially observed that infusion of the live culture Lactococcus lactis stimulated substantial recruitment of polymorphonucleocytes (PMN) and lymphocytes to the udder. For instance, in one assay, quarters infused with the probiotic experienced a dramatic increase (~20 000-fold) in neutrophils over the first 48-h period from an average value of 83·6 cells/ml pre-treatment to 1·78×106 cells/ml 48 h post-infusion. Levels of the acute phase proteins haptaglobin and milk amyloid A were also elevated significantly in comparison with controls following infusion of the culture. The results of flow cytometric assays also demonstrated that while infusion of a live lactococcal culture led to an enhanced recruitment of PMN to the udder (from 1·85×104 cells/ml pre-infusion to 1·45×106 cells/ml 24 h post-infusion) cell-free supernatant from the same culture was not able to do so, indicating that live Lc. lactis can specifically trigger the mammary immune response to elicit PMN accumulation. These results suggest that the mechanism responsible for this probiotic treatment of mastitis is associated with stimulation of the host intramammary immune system.

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Journal of Dairy Research
  • ISSN: 0022-0299
  • EISSN: 1469-7629
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-dairy-research
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