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1.  Udder pathogens and their resistance to antimicrobial agents in dairy cows in Estonia 
Background
The goal of this study was to estimate the distribution of udder pathogens and their antibiotic resistance in Estonia during the years 2007-2009.
Methods
The bacteriological findings reported in this study originate from quarter milk samples collected from cows on Estonian dairy farms that had clinical or subclinical mastitis. The samples were submitted by local veterinarians to the Estonian Veterinary and Food Laboratory during 2007-2009. Milk samples were examined by conventional bacteriology. In vitro antimicrobial susceptibility testing was performed with the disc diffusion test. Logistic regression with a random herd effect to control for clustering was used for statistical analysis.
Results
During the study period, 3058 clinical mastitis samples from 190 farms and 5146 subclinical mastitis samples from 274 farms were investigated. Positive results were found in 57% of the samples (4680 out of 8204), and the proportion did not differ according to year (p > 0.05). The proportion of bacteriologically negative samples was 22.3% and that of mixed growth was 20.6%. Streptococcus uberis (Str. uberis) was the bacterium isolated most frequently (18.4%) from cases of clinical mastitis, followed by Escherichia coli (E. coli) (15.9%) and Streptococcus agalactiae (Str. agalactiae) (11.9%). The bacteria that caused subclinical mastitis were mainly Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) (20%) and coagulase-negative staphylococci (CNS) (15.4%). The probability of isolating S. aureus from milk samples was significantly higher on farms that had fewer than 30 cows, when compared with farms that had more than 100 cows (p < 0.005). A significantly higher risk of Str. agalactiae infection was found on farms with more than 600 cows (p = 0.034) compared with smaller farms. The proportion of S. aureus and CNS isolates that were resistant to penicillin was 61.4% and 38.5%, respectively. Among the E. coli isolates, ampicillin, streptomycin and tetracycline resistance were observed in 24.3%, 15.6% and 13.5%, respectively.
Conclusions
This study showed that the main pathogens associated with clinical mastitis were Str. uberis and E. coli. Subclinical mastitis was caused mainly by S. aureus and CNS. The number of S. aureus and Str. agalactiae isolates depended on herd size. Antimicrobial resistance was highly prevalent, especially penicillin resistance in S. aureus and CNS.
doi:10.1186/1751-0147-53-4
PMCID: PMC3041692  PMID: 21299911
2.  Prevalence of contagious mastitis pathogens in bulk tank milk in Québec 
The Canadian Veterinary Journal  2012;53(10):1071-1078.
The objective of this study was to estimate the prevalence of mycoplasma, Staphylococcus aureus, and Streptococcus agalactiae in bulk tank milk (BTM) in Québec dairy herds. BTM was sampled 3 times a month in 117 randomly selected dairy herds. Samples were submitted for S. aureus, S. agalactiae, and mycoplasma and for direct mycoplasma detection by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Mycoplasma spp. was identified at least once in 3 herds (2.6%) by primary culture and/or PCR and in 4 herds (3.4%) by enrichment culture and/or PCR. Staphylococcus aureus was isolated at least once in 99 (84.6%) and 112 (95.7%) herds in primary culture and after enrichment, respectively. Streptococcus agalactiae was isolated at least once in 9 (7.7%) and 10 (8.6%) herds in primary culture and after enrichment, respectively. Herd prevalence of mycoplasma was similar to that previously reported in Canada. Staphylococcus aureus is still by far the most important contagious mastitis pathogen.
PMCID: PMC3447309  PMID: 23543925
3.  Development of a Rapid and Sensitive Test for Identification of Major Pathogens in Bovine Mastitis by PCR 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2001;39(7):2584-2589.
Bovine mastitis is the most important source of loss for the dairy industry. A rapid and specific test for the detection of the main pathogens of bovine mastitis is not actually available. Molecular probes reacting in PCR with bacterial DNA from bovine milk, providing direct and rapid detection of Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus agalactiae, Streptococcus dysgalactiae, Streptococcus parauberis, and Streptococcus uberis, have been developed. Two sets of specific primers were designed for each of these microorganisms and appeared to discriminate close phylogenic bacterial species (e.g., S. agalactiae and S. dysgalactiae). In addition, two sets of universal primers were designed to react as positive controls with all major pathogens of bovine mastitis. The sensitivities of the test using S. aureus DNA extracted from milk with and without a pre-PCR enzymatic lysis step of bacterial cells were compared. The detection limit of the assay was 3.125 × 102 CFU/ml of milk when S. aureus DNA was extracted with the pre-PCR enzymatic step compared to 5 × 103 CFU/ml of milk in the absence of the pre-PCR enzymatic step. This latter threshold of sensitivity is still compatible with its use as an efficient tool of diagnosis in bovine mastitis, allowing the elimination of expensive reagents. The two PCR tests avoid cumbersome and lengthy cultivation steps, can be performed within hours, and are sensitive, specific, and reliable for the direct detection in milk of the six most prevalent bacteria causing bovine mastitis.
doi:10.1128/JCM.39.7.2584-2589.2001
PMCID: PMC88189  PMID: 11427573
4.  Etiology and antimicrobial susceptibility of udder pathogens from cases of subclinical mastitis in dairy cows in Sweden 
Background
A nationwide survey on the microbial etiology of cases of subclinical mastitis in dairy cows was carried out on dairy farms in Sweden. The aim was to investigate the microbial panorama and the occurrence of antimicrobial resistance. Moreover, differences between newly infected cows and chronically infected cows were investigated.
Methods
In total, 583 quarter milk samples were collected from 583 dairy cows at 226 dairy farms from February 2008 to February 2009. The quarter milk samples were bacteriological investigated and scored using the California Mastitis Test. Staphylococci were tested for betalactamase production and presence of resistance was evaluated in all specific udder pathogens. Differences between newly infected cows and chronically infected cows were statistically investigated using logistic regression analysis.
Results
The most common isolates of 590 bacteriological diagnoses were Staphylococcus (S) aureus (19%) and coagulase-negative staphylococci (CNS; 16%) followed by Streptococcus (Str) dysgalactiae (9%), Str. uberis (8%), Escherichia (E.) coli (2.9%), and Streptococcus spp. (1.9%). Samples with no growth or contamination constituted 22% and 18% of the diagnoses, respectively. The distribution of the most commonly isolated bacteria considering only bacteriological positive samples were: S. aureus - 31%, CNS - 27%, Str. dysgalactiae - 15%, Str. uberis - 14%, E. coli - 4.8%, and Streptococcus spp. - 3.1%. There was an increased risk of finding S. aureus, Str. uberis or Str. dysgalactiae in milk samples from chronically infected cows compared to findings in milk samples from newly infected cows. Four percent of the S. aureus isolates and 35% of the CNS isolates were resistant to penicillin G. Overall, resistance to other antimicrobials than penicillin G was uncommon.
Conclusions
Staphylococcus aureus and CNS were the most frequently isolated pathogens and resistance to antimicrobials was rare.
doi:10.1186/1751-0147-53-36
PMCID: PMC3118135  PMID: 21649936
5.  Clinical mastitis in dairy cattle in Ontario: frequency of occurrence and bacteriological isolates. 
The objective of this study was to describe the frequency of occurrence of clinical mastitis in dairy herds in Ontario. The study group consisted of 65 dairy farms involved in a 2-year observational study, which included recording all clinical mastitis cases and milk sampling of quarters with clinical mastitis. Lactational incidence risks of 9.8% for abnormal milk only, 8.2% for abnormal milk with a hard or swollen udder, and 4.4% for abnormal milk plus systemic signs of illness related to mastitis were calculated for 2840 cows and heifers. Overall, 19.8% of cows experienced one or more cases of clinical mastitis during location. Teat injuries occurred in 2.1% of lactations. Standard bacteriology was performed on pretreatment milk samples from 834 cows with clinical mastitis. The bacteria isolated were Staphylococcus aureus (6.7%), Streptococcus agalactiae (0.7%), other Streptococcus spp. (14.1%), coliforms (17.2%), gram-positive bacilli (5.5%), Corynebacterium bovis (1.7%), and other Staphylococcus spp. (28.7%). There was no growth in 17.7% of samples, and 8.3% of samples were contaminated. Clinical mastitis is a common disease in dairy cows in Ontario; approximately 1 in 5 cow lactations have at lease one episode of clinical mastitis. There is, however, considerable variation in the incidence of clinical mastitis among farms. The majority of 1st cases of clinical mastitis occur early in lactation, and the risk of clinical mastitis increases with increasing parity. Environmental, contagious, and minor pathogens were all associated with cases of clinical mastitis.
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PMCID: PMC1539829  PMID: 9442950
6.  Direct and indirect measurement of somatic cell count as indicator of intramammary infection in dairy goats 
Background
Mastitis is the most important and costly disease in dairy goat production. Subclinical mastitis is common in goats and is mainly caused by contagious bacteria. Several methods to diagnose subclinical mastitis are available. In this study indirect measurement of somatic cell count (SCC) by California Mastitis Test (CMT) and direct measurement of SCC using a portable deLaval cell counter (DCC) are evaluated. Swedish goat farmers would primarily benefit from diagnostic methods that can be used at the farm. The purpose of the study was to evaluate SCC measured by CMT and DCC as possible markers for intramammary infection (IMI) in goats without clinical symptoms of mastitis. Moreover to see how well indirect measurement of SCC (CMT) corresponded to direct measurement of SCC (DCC).
Method
Udder half milk samples were collected once from dairy goats (n = 111), in five different farms in Northern and Central Sweden. Only clinically healthy animals were included in the study. All goats were in mid to late lactation at sampling. Milk samples were analyzed for SCC by CMT and DCC at the farm, and for bacterial growth at the laboratory.
Results
Intramammary infection, defined as growth of udder pathogens, was found in 39 (18%) of the milk samples. No growth was found in 180 (81%) samples while 3 (1%) samples were contaminated. The most frequently isolated bacterial species was coagulase negative staphylococci (CNS) (72% of all isolates), followed by Staphylococcus aureus (23% of all isolates). Somatic cell count measured by DCC was strongly (p = 0.000) associated with bacterial growth. There was also a very strong association between CMT and bacterial growth. CMT 1 was associated with freedom of IMI while CMT ≥2 was associated with IMI. Indirect measurement of SCC by CMT was well correlated with SCC measured by DCC.
Conclusions
According to the results, SCC measured with CMT or DCC can predict udder infection in goats, and CMT can be used as a predictor of the SCC.
doi:10.1186/1751-0147-53-15
PMCID: PMC3059284  PMID: 21375744
7.  A study of bovine mastitis, milking procedures and management practices on 25 Estonian dairy herds 
Background
Mastitis prevalence, milking procedures and management practices were investigated in 25 big dairy herds supplying milk to an Estonian dairy company. The aim of the study was to provide information for the company to be used in their new udder health improvement program to be set up after the completion of this study.
Methods
Quarter milk samples were collected from 3,166 cows for bacterial analysis and SCC (somatic cell counting). During the farm visit the veterinarian filled in a questionnaire about milking procedures and management practices with the help of farm managers. If the milk SCC of a cow or of a quarter exceeded 200,000/ml, the cow was defined as having mastitis.
Results
The percentage of cows having inflammation in one or more quarters measured by SCC (200,000/ml) was 52.7%. Corynebacterium bovis, Staphylococcus aureus and coagulase negative staphylococci were the most common bacterial isolates. Women as farm owners, and participating in the milking, were associated with lower mastitis prevalence on the farm. Peat bedding was associated with higher mastitis prevalence.
Conclusion
We demonstrated relatively high mastitis prevalence in this study. Contagious bacteria (eg. S. aureus, C. bovis, S. agalactiae and coagulase negative staphylococci) caused most of the infections. These infections are usually spread from cow to cow at milking if the milking hygiene is not good enough. The mastitis situation could be improved by improving milking procedures and hygiene.
doi:10.1186/1751-0147-48-22
PMCID: PMC1664578  PMID: 17118211
8.  Anti-Bacterial Activity of Recombinant Human β-Defensin-3 Secreted in the Milk of Transgenic Goats Produced by Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(6):e65379.
The present study was conducted to determine whether recombinant human β-defensin-3 (rHBD3) in the milk of transgenic goats has an anti-bacterial activity against Escherichia coli (E. coli), Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) and Streptococcus agalactiae (S. agalactiae) that could cause mastitis. A HBD3 mammary-specific expression vector was transfected by electroporation into goat fetal fibroblasts which were used to produce fourteen healthy transgenic goats by somatic cell nuclear transfer. The expression level of rHBD3 in the milk of the six transgenic goats ranged from 98 to 121 µg/ml at 15 days of lactation, and was maintained at 90–111 µg/ml during the following 2 months. Milk samples from transgenic goats showed an obvious inhibitory activity against E. coli, S. aureus and S. agalactiae in vitro. The minimal inhibitory concentrations of rHBD3 in milk against E. coli, S. aureus and S. agalactiae were 9.5–10.5, 21.8–23.0 and 17.3–18.5 µg/mL, respectively, which was similar to those of the HBD3 standard (P>0.05). The in vivo anti-bacterial activities of rHBD3 in milk were examined by intramammary infusion of viable bacterial inoculums. We observed that 9/10 and 8/10 glands of non-transgenic goats infused with S. aureus and E. coli became infected. The mean numbers of viable bacteria went up to 2.9×103 and 95.4×103 CFU/ml at 48 h after infusion, respectively; the mean somatic cell counts (SCC) in infected glands reached up to 260.4×105 and 622.2×105 cells/ml, which were significantly higher than the SCC in uninfected goat glands. In contrast, no bacteria was presented in glands of transgenic goats and PBS-infused controls, and the SSC did not significantly change throughout the period. Moreover, the compositions and protein profiles of milk from transgenic and non-transgenic goats were identical. The present study demonstrated that HBD3 were an effective anti-bacterial protein to enhance the mastitis resistance of dairy animals.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0065379
PMCID: PMC3683007  PMID: 23799010
9.  Prevalence of contagious mastitis pathogens in bulk tank milk in Prince Edward Island 
The Canadian Veterinary Journal  2006;47(6):567-572.
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to 1) estimate the herd prevalence of contagious mastitis pathogens in bulk milk from Prince Edward Island (PEI) dairy farms, 2) determine the association between bulk milk culture results and mean bulk milk somatic cell count (BMSCC), and 3) investigate the agreement of repeated bulk milk cultures. Three consecutive bulk milk samples were obtained at weekly intervals from all 258 PEI dairy herds and were cultured using routine laboratory methods. Cumulative prevalence of Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus agalactiae, and Mycoplasma spp. (M. bovis and M. alkalescens) was 74%, 1.6%, and 1.9%, respectively. Bulk milk somatic cell count of Staph. aureus-positive herds was higher than that of negative herds. Agreement for Staph. aureus isolation between 3 consecutive tests was moderate (kappa = 0.46). Mycoplasma bovis and M. alkalescens in bulk milk are being reported for the 1st time in PEI ever and in Canada since 1972.
PMCID: PMC1461414  PMID: 16808229
10.  Therapeutic Effect of Nisin Z on Subclinical Mastitis in Lactating Cows▿  
Bovine subclinical mastitis is an inflammation of the mammary gland caused by bacterial intramammary infection, accounting for large economic losses. Treatment of subclinical mastitis is not suggested for lactating cows due to the risk of milk contamination. The objectives of this study were to evaluate an antimicrobial peptide, nisin, in the treatment of subclinical mastitis in lactating cows. A total of 90 lactating Holstein cows with subclinical mastitis were randomly divided into nisin-treated (n = 46) and control (n = 44) groups. In the nisin-treated group, cows received an intramammary infusion of nisin at a dose of 2,500,000 IU once daily for 3 days while the control cows received no treatment. Milk samples were collected from the affected mammary quarters before treatment and 1 and 2 weeks after treatment for analyses of bacteria, somatic cells, and N-acetyl-β-d-glucosaminidase (NAGase). Results indicated that nisin therapy had bacteriological cure rates of 90.1% for Streptococcus agalactiae (10 of 11), 50% for Staphylococcus aureus (7 of 14), 58.8% for coagulase-negative staphylococci (7 of 17), and 65.2% for all cases (30 of 46). Meanwhile, only 15.9% (7 of 44) of untreated cows spontaneously recovered. NAGase activity in milk samples and the number of mammary quarters with a milk somatic cell count of ≥500,000/ml were significantly decreased after nisin treatment while no significant changes took place in the control group. Because of its therapeutic effects on bovine subclinical mastitis, as well as its safety in humans, nisin deserves further study to clarify its effects on mastitis caused by different pathogens.
doi:10.1128/AAC.00629-07
PMCID: PMC2043217  PMID: 17606675
11.  Effects of antibiotic treatment of nonlactating dairy cows on antibiotic resistance patterns of bovine mastitis pathogens. 
Antibiotic resistance patterns of the major groups of bovine mastitis pathogens (Streptococcus agalactiae, other streptococci, Staphylococcus aureus, and Staphylococcus epidermidis) were examined by determining the minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) of 13 different antibiotics against bacterial isolates from dairy cattle. The bacterial strains were obtained from milk samples from each cow in 21 New York state dairy herd surveys. In 12 herd surveys (high antibiotic-use group), all 365 cows received antibiotic infusions into the udder at the cessation of each lactation cycle. The 324 animals in the other nine herd surveys (low antibiotic-use group) did not routinely receive antibiotics during the nonlactation period. The MICs from the two groups were compared by calculating for each bacterial group the average MIC, the antibiotic concentration necessary to inhibit 90% of the isolates, and the antibiotic concentration necessary to inhibit 50% of the isolates. Increased resistance to all 13 antibiotics was observed with Streptococcus agalactiae isolates from the high antibiotic use herds. However, there was relatively little difference between the two groups in the resistance patterns of the other bacterial species examined. The most important finding of the study was the identification of a multiple beta-lactam resistance phenotype in Streptococcus agalactiae.
PMCID: PMC185940  PMID: 6660851
12.  Microbial Diversity of Bovine Mastitic Milk as Described by Pyrosequencing of Metagenomic 16s rDNA 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(10):e47671.
Dairy cow mastitis is an important disease in the dairy industry. Different microbial species have been identified as causative agents in mastitis, and are traditionally diagnosed by bacterial culture. The objective of this study was to use metagenomic pyrosequencing of bacterial 16S rRNA genes to investigate bacterial DNA diversity in milk samples of mastitic and healthy dairy cows and compare the results with those obtained by classical bacterial culture. One hundred and thirty-six milk samples were collected from cows showing signs of mastitis and used for microbiological culture. Additionally, 20 milk samples were collected from healthy quarters. Bacterial DNA was isolated from the same milk samples and the 16S rRNA genes were individually amplified and pyrosequenced. Discriminant analysis showed that the groups of samples that were most clearly different from the rest and thus easily discriminated were the normal milk samples from healthy cows and those characterised by culture as Trueperella pyogenes and Streptococcus spp. The mastitis pathogens identified by culture were generally among the most frequent organisms detected by pyrosequencing, and in some cases (Escherichia coli, Klebsiella spp. and Streptococcus uberis mastitis) the single most prevalent microorganism. Trueperella pyogenes sequences were the second most prevalent sequences in mastitis cases diagnosed as Trueperella pyogenes by culture, Streptococcus dysgalactiae sequences were the second most prevalent sequences in mastitis cases diagnosed as Streptococcus dysgalactiae by culture, and Staphyloccocus aureus sequences were the third most prevalent in mastitis cases diagnosed as Staphylococcus aureus by culture. In samples that were aerobic culture negative, pyrosequencing identified DNA of bacteria that are known to cause mastitis, DNA of bacteria that are known pathogens but have so far not been associated with mastitis, and DNA of bacteria that are currently not known to be pathogens. A possible role of anaerobic pathogens in bovine mastitis is also suggested.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0047671
PMCID: PMC3474744  PMID: 23082192
13.  Culture of bulk tank milk as a mastitis screening test: A brief review 
The Canadian Veterinary Journal  1993;34(10):601-605.
The culture of a sample of bulk tank milk may be a useful technique by which to screen herds for major mastitis pathogens. Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus agalactiae, if identified on a culture of a sample of bulk milk, reliably indicate infection of the udder. Environmental bacteria, such as the other streptococci and coliforms, are unlikely to be indicative of the proportion of cows infected with these organisms.
Samples of bulk milk are readily obtainable and can be rapidly and inexpensively cultured to screen large numbers of herds for mastitis-causing bacteria, yet the performance of the test has only recently been formally assessed for its ability to correctly classify herds according to infection status.
A single culture of bulk tank milk has been found to be a test with low sensitivity and high specificity for determining the presence of S. agalactiae or S. aureus in the herd. This means that many infected herds will be called negative, but few uninfected herds will be classified as positive.
The literature assessing the performance of bulk tank milk culture in comparison with other mastitis screening tests, the use of bulk milk culture for prevalence surveys, and factors affecting these results is discussed.
PMCID: PMC1686618  PMID: 17424304
14.  Deposition of complement components on Streptococcus agalactiae in bovine milk in the absence of inflammation. 
Infection and Immunity  1995;63(9):3422-3427.
Bovine milk is generally considered to be almost devoid of complement, on the basis of undetectable hemolytic activity, unless inflammation recruits plasma components. This study examines the deposition of complement components on a mastitis-causing isolate of Streptococcus agalactiae by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Neat milk from mid-lactating, uninflamed mammary glands (normal milk) effected marked C3 deposition on bacteria. Kinetic studies showed a protracted lag period (30 to 45 min) preceding C3 deposition, which required about 2 h to reach a maximum. Experiments with diluted serum suggested that this slow C3 deposition resulted mainly from the low concentration of certain components of complement in milk. Bacteria incubated in neat milk readily bound bovine conglutinin, indicating the presence of iC3b. Elution of covalently bound C3 fragments with hydroxylamine confirmed the deposition of C3b and iC3b on bacteria. Deposition of C4 on bacteria was not detected in neat milk, suggesting that C3 deposition did not result from the activation of the classical pathway. This was not the result of a lack of antibodies. However, C4 deposition could be obtained by adding purified bovine C1q to normal milk, and C3 deposition was accelerated, suggesting the participation of the classical pathway. The deposition of C1q on antibody-sensitized bacteria was impeded by milk compared with that of C1q diluted in phosphate-buffered saline. Concentrations of C1q in normal milk were very low, ranging from 150 to 250 ng/ml. Overall, these findings indicate that C1q was a limiting factor of the classical pathway in normal milk. The capacity of milk to deposit C3 fragments on mastitis-causing S. agalactiae prompts further studies to investigate its role in opsonophagocytosis.
PMCID: PMC173471  PMID: 7642272
15.  Transcriptomic and genomic evidence for Streptococcus agalactiae adaptation to the bovine environment 
BMC Genomics  2013;14:920.
Background
Streptococcus agalactiae is a major cause of bovine mastitis, which is the dominant health disorder affecting milk production within the dairy industry and is responsible for substantial financial losses to the industry worldwide. However, there is considerable evidence for host adaptation (ecotypes) within S. agalactiae, with both bovine and human sourced isolates showing a high degree of distinctiveness, suggesting differing ability to cause mastitis. Here, we (i) generate RNAseq data from three S. agalactiae isolates (two putative bovine adapted and one human) and (ii) compare publicly available whole genome shotgun sequence data from an additional 202 isolates, obtained from six host species, to elucidate possible genetic factors/adaptations likely important for S. agalactiae growth and survival in the bovine mammary gland.
Results
Tests for differential expression showed distinct expression profiles for the three isolates when grown in bovine milk. A key finding for the two putatively bovine adapted isolates was the up regulation of a lactose metabolism operon (Lac.2) that was strongly correlated with the bovine environment (all 36 bovine sourced isolates on GenBank possessed the operon, in contrast to only 8/151 human sourced isolates). Multi locus sequence typing of all genome sequences and phylogenetic analysis using conserved operon genes from 44 S. agalactiae isolates and 16 additional Streptococcus species provided strong evidence for acquisition of the operon via multiple lateral gene transfer events, with all Streptococcus species known to be major causes of mastitis, identified as possible donors. Furthermore, lactose fermentation tests were only positive for isolates possessing Lac.2. Combined, these findings suggest that lactose metabolism is likely an important adaptation to the bovine environment. Additional up regulation in the bovine adapted isolates included genes involved in copper homeostasis, metabolism of purine, pyrimidine, glycerol and glucose, and possibly aminoglycoside antibiotic resistance.
Conclusion
We detected several genetic factors likely important in S. agalactiae’s adaptation to the bovine environment, in particular lactose metabolism. Of concern is the up regulation of a putative antibiotic resistance gene (GCN5-related N-acetyltransferase) that might reflect an adaptation to the use of aminoglycoside antibiotics within this environment.
doi:10.1186/1471-2164-14-920
PMCID: PMC3890567  PMID: 24369756
Streptococcus agalactiae; Bovine adapted; RNAseq; Lactose operon; Lateral gene transfer; Mastitis; Differential gene expression
16.  Occurrence of Clinical and Sub-Clinical Mastitis in Dairy Herds in the West Littoral Region in Uruguay 
Acta Veterinaria Scandinavica  2002;43(4):221-230.
Twenty-nine dairy farms were selected to determine the incidence of clinical mastitis, prevalence of sub-clinical mastitis and bacterial aetiology in the West Littoral Region of Uruguay. In samples taken by the owner and frozen at -20°C during a week the incidence rate of clinical mastitis was determined as 1.2 cases per 100 cow-months at risk. Staphylococcus aureus was the most common isolated pathogen in 37.5% of 40 milk samples from clinical cases obtained in 1 month. No bacteria grew in the 32.5% of the total samples.
A sub-sample including 1077 dairy cows from randomly selected farms was used to determine the prevalence of sub-clinical mastitis. These samples were taken on one visit to each farm. The prevalence was 52.4% on a cow basis and 26.7% on an udder quarter basis. In 55.1% of the quarters of the selected animals with more than 300 000 cells/ml there was no growth. The isolated pathogens from sub-clinical cases and their relative frequencies were: Staphylococcus aureus 62.8%, Streptococcus agalactiae 11.3%, Enterococcus sp. 8%, coagulase-negative staphylococci 7.4%, Streptococus uberis 6.4%, Streptococcus dysgalactiae 1.8%, Escherichia coli 1.5% and Staphylococcus hyicus coagulase-positive 0.6%.
doi:10.1186/1751-0147-43-221
PMCID: PMC1764198  PMID: 12831175
mastitis; Uruguay; cows; incidence; prevalence
17.  The indirect hemagglutination test for the detection of antibodies in cattle naturally infected mycoplasmas. 
Stable mycoplasma antigens for the indirect hemagglutination test (IHA) were prepared employing glutaraldehyde treated sheep erythrocytes sensitized with Mycoplasma agalactiae subsp. bovis and Mycoplasma bovigenitalium antigens. Employing these antigens mycoplasma antibodies were detected in sera from cattle which had mastitic symptoms due to natural infection with either M. agalactiae subsp. bovis or M. bovigenitalium. A total of 200 cows from four herds were examined at varying intervals for the presence of M. agalactiae subsp. bovis and for the detection of antibody using growth inhibition and IHA tests. Mycoplasmas were isolated from 37 animals. Growth inhibiting antibody was detected from 56 of the 200 animals. In the IHA tests, antibody titer greater than or equal to 1:80 were detected in 148 animals, 76 of these having antibody titers greater than or equal to 1:160, while sera of 116 normal control animals had no growth inhibiting antibody and none had IHA antibody titers greater than 1:40. M. bovigenitalium was isolated from the milk of three of 26 animals in a fifth herd during an outbreak of mastitis. Growth inhibiting antibodies were demonstrated in the sera of ten of the 26 animals. However, the IHA test detected antibody titers of greater than or equal to 1:160 in 13 animals and of 1:80 in one of the 26 animals. To determine the specificity of the IHA tests, M. agalactiae subsp. bovis and M. bovigenitalium antigens were reacted with rabbit hyperimmune typing sera produced against 12 species of bovine mycoplasmatales. Homologous antisera showed IHA antibody titers of 1:1280 and 1:2560 against M. agalactiae subsp. bovis and M. bovigenitalium respectively, whereas heterologous antisera showed IHA antibody titers of less than or equal to 1:20. Also eight type-specific bovine antisera were reacted with M agalactiae subsp. bovis and M. bovigenitalium antigens in homologous and heterologous tests. Homoogous reactions showed IHA antibody titers greater than or equal to 1:320, whereas heterologous reactions showed IHA titers of less than or equal to 1:20. This IHA test promises to be useful for the detection of bovine mycoplasma antibodies in sera from cattle infected with M. agalactiae subsp. bovis or M. bovigenitalium. Thes test is sensitive, reproducible and specific and the technique is relatively simple and rapid. The antigens were stable for at least seven months.
PMCID: PMC1277514  PMID: 1000374
18.  Determination of Untreated Whole-Milk Effects on In Vitro Antibacterial Activity 
Applied Microbiology  1970;19(2):220-223.
The effect of fresh whole milk without pasteurization or other pretreatment on in vitro antibacterial activity of selected compounds was determined in broth dilution. The milk was collected by hand directly from dairy goats, or by syringe or cannula from bovine quarters showing low bacterial counts. Antibacterial activity was determined in 50% (v/v) milk-broth medium against sensitive mastitis-etiologic strains of Streptococcus agalactiae and Staphylococcus aureus. The indicator salt 2,3,5-triphenyltetrazolium chloride was incorporated in the milk broth medium to determine inoculum growth. Contaminant interference was circumvented through early as well as late readings and comparisons with uninoculated control tubes, with and without the test compounds. Application of the method with more than 75 compounds, including nitrofurans, antibiotics, and other chemicals uncovered marked degrees of milk interference. The method warrants routine use among preliminary screens to relate in vitro with in vivo observations of antimicrobial activity. Similar procedures may be used with serum, skim milk, or mastitis-milk media for separating effects due to protein, lipid, or other elements in product evaluation.
PMCID: PMC376655  PMID: 5461785
19.  Isolation of Staphylococcus aureus L forms from experimentally induced bovine mastitis. 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  1987;25(10):1956-1961.
Bacterial L forms were isolated from milk samples of dairy cattle infected experimentally with Staphylococcus aureus. Initially, bacterial L forms were induced in vitro from 12 of 44 S. aureus strains isolated from bovine mastitis. Cows were experimentally infected in two experiments with strains shown in vitro to be easily inducible to L form and with S. aureus Newbould 305. Each quarter of the mammary gland was infected with either 10(3) or 10(6) CFU of the test strains. Treatment was initiated with 100,000 U of penicillin G per quarter at the first signs of clinical mastitis. Milk samples were collected daily and cultured on bovine blood agar and PPLO agar (Difco Laboratories, Detroit, Mich.) with 10% horse serum and 5% NaCl. Staphylococcal L forms were isolated from milk samples collected from infected glands in both experiments after antibiotic therapy. Glands with the highest concentrations of leukocytes and bacteria were most likely to yield L forms in milk samples after treatment was initiated. Cows harboring L forms typically yielded parental organisms after cessation of antibiotic therapy. No detectable changes occurred in antibiotic susceptibilities, coagulase production, or biochemical activities in strains induced to L form followed by reversion to the parental form. These results demonstrated that L forms can occur during treatment of bovine mastitis and that L forms may be one explanation for the poor response of staphylococcal bovine mastitis to antibiotic therapy.
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PMCID: PMC269375  PMID: 3667916
20.  Phagocytosis of mastitis isolates of Staphylococcus aureus and expression of type 5 capsular polysaccharide are influenced by growth in the presence of milk. 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  1990;28(10):2253-2258.
Phagocytosis by bovine polymorphonuclear granulocytes of seven capsular polysaccharide type 5 Staphylococcus aureus strains isolated from mastitis [corrected] was investigated by means of luminol-dependent chemiluminescence. Bacteria were grown on four different agar media (brain heart infusion, Columbia broth, modified staphylococcus medium 110, and skim milk) and were opsonized by normal bovine serum. When compared to growth on brain heart infusion agar, Columbia agar, and modified staphylococcus medium 110 agar, growth on skim milk agar rendered five of the strains more resistant to opsonization. The other two strains were resistant in all culture media used. Short periods of incubation in milk after growth on brain heart infusion agar did not augment resistance to phagocytosis, indicating that mere adsorption of milk components on bacteria was not responsible. The variability of the chemiluminescence response of polymorphonuclear leukocytes was pronounced among strains with each growth medium except milk. Growth on modified staphylococcus medium 110 and on milk agar favored the masking of teichoic acid, as shown by inagglutinability with rabbit antiserum. Interestingly, agglutination by a monoclonal antibody to capsular polysaccharide type 5 was optimal when bacteria were grown on skim milk agar. This suggests that capsular polysaccharide participated in the masking effect. These findings indicate that masking of the bacterial target of most of the naturally acquired opsonins present in normal bovine serum occurred when bacteria grew in the presence of milk, resulting in an increased resistance to phagocytosis by polymorphonuclear leukocytes.
PMCID: PMC268157  PMID: 2229349
21.  Evaluation of PetrifilmsTM as a diagnostic test to detect bovine mastitis organisms in Kenya 
The study purpose was to validate PetrifilmsTM (3M Microbiology, 2005) against standard culture methods in the diagnosis of bovine mastitis organisms in Kenya. On 128 smallholder dairy cattle farms in Kenya, between June 21, 2010 and August 31, 2010, milk samples from 269 cows that were positive on California Mastitis Test (CMT) were cultured using standard laboratory culture methods and PetrifilmsTM (Aerobic Count and Coliform Count –3M Microbiology, 2005), and results were compared. Staphylococcus aureus was the most common bacterium isolated (73 % of samples). Clinical mastitis was found in only three cows, and there were only two Gram-negative isolates, making it impossible to examine the agreement between the two tests for Gram-negative- or clinical mastitis samples. The observed agreement between the standard culture and PetrifilmTM (3M Microbiology, 2005) results for Gram-positive isolates was 85 %, and there was fair agreement beyond that expected due to chance alone, with a kappa (κ) of 0.38. Using culture results as a gold standard, the PetrifilmsTM had a sensitivity of 90 % for Gram-positive samples and specificity of 51 %. With 87 % of CMT-positive samples resulting in Gram-positive pathogens cultured, there was a positive predictive value of 93 % and a negative predictive value of 43 %. PetrifilmsTM should be considered for culture of mastitis organisms in developing countries, especially when Gram-positive bacteria are expected.
doi:10.1007/s11250-012-0286-y
PMCID: PMC3574565  PMID: 23108587
Dairy cattle; Mastitis; Laboratory culture; PetrifilmsTM; Test evaluation; Kenya
22.  Molecular Epidemiology of Mastitis Pathogens of Dairy Cattle and Comparative Relevance to Humans 
Mastitis, inflammation of the mammary gland, can be caused by a wide range of organisms, including gram-negative and gram-positive bacteria, mycoplasmas and algae. Many microbial species that are common causes of bovine mastitis, such as Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Streptococcus agalactiae and Staphylococcus aureus also occur as commensals or pathogens of humans whereas other causative species, such as Streptococcus uberis, Streptococcus dysgalactiae subsp. dysgalactiae or Staphylococcus chromogenes, are almost exclusively found in animals. A wide range of molecular typing methods have been used in the past two decades to investigate the epidemiology of bovine mastitis at the subspecies level. These include comparative typing methods that are based on electrophoretic banding patterns, library typing methods that are based on the sequence of selected genes, virulence gene arrays and whole genome sequencing projects. The strain distribution of mastitis pathogens has been investigated within individual animals and across animals, herds, countries and host species, with consideration of the mammary gland, other animal or human body sites, and environmental sources. Molecular epidemiological studies have contributed considerably to our understanding of sources, transmission routes, and prognosis for many bovine mastitis pathogens and to our understanding of mechanisms of host-adaptation and disease causation. In this review, we summarize knowledge gleaned from two decades of molecular epidemiological studies of mastitis pathogens in dairy cattle and discuss aspects of comparative relevance to human medicine.
doi:10.1007/s10911-011-9236-y
PMCID: PMC3208832  PMID: 21968538
Molecular epidemiology; Bovine; Mastitis; Strain typing; Outbreak investigation; Genome; Host adaptation
23.  Molecular epidemiology of Staphylococcus aureus isolates at different sites in the milk producing dairy farms 
Brazilian Journal of Microbiology  2012;43(4):1646-1650.
The epidemiological relationships between isolated Staphylococcus aureus strains in milk samples of dairy cows, reagent to California Mastitis Test, individual and group milk was demonstrated in different sites of the production fluxogram, in 12 milk-producing farms in the Gameleira region, municipality of Sacramento MG Brazil, so that localization and transmission modes may be identified. Two hundred and forty-four strains out of 446 samples collected at several sites were isolated and bio-chemically characterized as coagulase-positive staphylococcus. Specific chromosome DNA fragment of the species Staphylococcus aureus was amplified to 106 strains and 103 underwent (PFGE). Samples’ collection sites with the highest isolation frequency of Staphylococcus aureus strains comprised papillary ostia (31.1%), CMT-reagent cow milk (21.7%), mechanical milking machines’ insufflators (21,7%), milk in milk pails (6.6%) and the milk in community bulk tanks (5.6%). Genetic heterogeneity existed among the isolated 103 Staphylococcus aureus strains, since 32 different pulse-types were identified. Pulse-type 1 had the highest similarity among the isolated strains within the different sites of the milk-production fluxogram. Highest occurrence of pulsetype 1 isolates of Staphylococcus aureus strains was reported in samples collected from the papillary ostia (10.6%), followed by milk samples from CMT-reagent dairy cows (5.8%) and mechanical milking machine insufflators (3.8%). The above shows the relevance of these sites in the agents’ transmission mechanism within the context of the farms investigated.
doi:10.1590/S1517-838220120004000050
PMCID: PMC3769019  PMID: 24031997
mastitis; Staphylococcus aureus; bulk tank; PCR; PFGE
24.  Identification of a Streptococcus agalactiae protein antigen associated with bovine mastitis isolates. 
Infection and Immunity  1987;55(5):1170-1175.
Immunoblotting was used to analyze the immune response of cows to Streptococcus agalactiae. Antibody from the milk of cows immunized (via the superficial inguinal lymph node) with formalinized S. agalactiae cells or from the milk of cows with S. agalactiae mastitis reacted strongly with a group of high-molecular-weight proteinaceous antigens. The two most predominant antigenic polypeptides in this group had apparent molecular weights of 97,000 and 104,000. Because the data indicated that these two antigens, as well as several minor antigens sometimes observed in the 70- to 100-kilodalton size range, seemed to be different forms of the same protein, we refer to the entire group as Sas97/104. A monoclonal antibody that was reactive with Sas97/104 was derived and was used to purify the antigen by affinity chromatography. Whole-cell and colony blot enzyme-linked immunoassays with either the monoclonal antibody or a polyclonal serum sample raised against the affinity-purified antigen indicated that this antigen (or cross-reactive proteins with higher molecular weights) is present on the S. agalactiae strains that were freshly isolated from mastitic cows. However, the antigen was not detected in S. agalactiae of human origin, bovine strains of S. agalactiae maintained for a prolonged period in the laboratory, or other streptococci. The data are consistent with the notion that Sas97/104 is a surface antigen and does not correspond to previously described type-specific antigens of group B streptococci.
Images
PMCID: PMC260486  PMID: 3552991
25.  Evaluation of a Novel Chimeric B Cell Epitope-Based Vaccine against Mastitis Induced by Either Streptococcus agalactiae or Staphylococcus aureus in Mice▿ 
To construct a universal vaccine against mastitis induced by either Streptococcus agalactiae or Staphylococcus aureus, the B cell epitopes of the surface immunogenic protein (Sip) from S. agalactiae and clumping factor A (ClfA) from S. aureus were analyzed and predicted. sip-clfA, a novel chimeric B cell epitope-based gene, was obtained by overlap PCR, and then the recombinant Sip-ClfA (rSip-ClfA) was expressed and purified. rSip-ClfA and inactivated S. agalactiae and S. aureus were formulated into different vaccines with mineral oil as the adjuvant and evaluated in mouse models. The rSip-ClfA vaccination induced immunoglobulin G (IgG) titers higher than those seen in groups immunized with inactivated bacteria. Furthermore, the response to rSip-ClfA immunization was characterized as having a dominant IgG1 subtype, whereas both bacterial immunizations produced similar levels of IgG1 and IgG2a. The antiserum capacities for opsonizing adhesion and phagocytosis were significantly greater in the rSip-ClfA immunization group than in the killed-bacterium immunization groups (P < 0.05). The immunized lactating mice were challenged with either S. agalactiae or S. aureus via the intramammary route. At 24 h postinfection, the numbers of bacteria recovered from the mammary glands in the rSip-ClfA group were >5-fold lower than those in both inactivated-bacterium groups (P < 0.01). Histopathological examination of the mammary glands showed that rSip-ClfA immunization provided better protection of mammary gland tissue integrity against both S. agalactiae and S. aureus challenges. Thus, the recombinant protein rSip-ClfA would be a promising vaccine candidate against mastitis induced by either S. agalactiae or S. aureus.
doi:10.1128/CVI.00066-11
PMCID: PMC3122606  PMID: 21508165

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