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Determination of mechanisms of natural resistance to Mastitis in dairy cows - OD1713

Control of clinical mastitis in the dairy cow has reduced the incidence to 1,000,000 cases per annum but requires the use of 12M tubes of intra mammary antibiotics. Simple calculations suggest that cases occur only in 25% cows at risk annually and that 50% cows never suffer clinical mastitis.

This indicates that some cows may be immune or have an innate resistance, either because their mammary gland is refractory to invasion or will not support the growth of bacterial pathogens.

It is proposed to investigate the relative importance of these factors in order to identify characteristics linked to resistance which may be used in breeding programmes.

Animals identified in epidemiological studies or by preliminary screening to identify animals whose milk does not support the growth of Streptococcus uberis in vitro will be used in experimental infection studies.

Incorporating selection for resistance to mastitis into breeding programmes will allow a further reduction in the incidence and prevalence of mastitis and significantly improve animal welfare. It will also be an effective way of reducing the use of therapeutic and prophylactic antibiotics and improve the sustainability of dairy farming.

The project is in direct support of MAFF policy to improve food quality and promote animal health and welfare.
Project Documents
• Final Report : Determination of mechanisms of natural resistance to Mastitis in dairy cows   (938k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 1999

To: 2002

Cost: £269,000
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Institute for Animal Health (BBSRC)
Animal Diseases              
Animal Health              
Plants and Animals              
Fields of Study
Animal Health