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Intramammary infusion of a live culture of Lactococcus lactis for treatment of bovine mastitis: comparison with antibiotic treatment in field trials

  • Katja Klostermann (a1) (a2), Fiona Crispie (a1), James Flynn (a3), R Paul Ross (a1), Colin Hill (a2) and William Meaney (a3)...

A treatment containing a live food-grade organism, Lactococcus lactis DPC3147, was compared with conventional antibiotic therapy for its potential to treat bovine chronic subclinical or clinical mastitis in two separate field trials. Effects on disease symptoms and bacteriology were monitored in response to infusion with the culture in each trial. In the first trial, the live culture treatment was compared with an intramammary antibiotic (n=11 quarters for each treatment). Results from this small trial demonstrated that the live culture had potential to be as effective at eliminating chronic subclinical infections as an antibiotic treatment. By day 12, 7 of the 11 quarters treated with the live culture were pathogen-free compared with 5 of the 11 antibiotic-treated infected quarters. Somatic cell counts (SCC) remained relatively unchanged regardless of treatment: average log SCC pre- and post-treatment in the lactococci-treated group were 6·33±0·41 (day 0) and 6·27±0·43 cells/ml (day 12) and average log SCC pre- and post-treatment in the antibiotic-treated group were 6·34±0·37 and 6·22±0·46 cells/ml on day 0 and on day 12, respectively. In the second trial, the live culture was compared with an intramammary antibiotic for the treatment of naturally occurring clinical mastitis cases (n=25 quarters for each treatment). Following a 14-d experimental period, similar bacteriological responses were observed in 7 out of 25 live culture treated quarters and 9 out of 25 antibiotic-treated quarters. Additionally, 15 of 25 cases treated with the culture and 18 of 25 cases treated with the antibiotic did not exhibit clinical signs of the disease following treatment. The results of these trials suggest that live culture treatment with Lc. lactis DPC3147 may be as efficacious as common antibiotic treatments in some instances.

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Journal of Dairy Research
  • ISSN: 0022-0299
  • EISSN: 1469-7629
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