Relationship of T cell proliferation and the udder stranscriptome with mastitis resistance to Staphlococcus aureus

N. Hastings, F. Young, J. L. Williams, J. Fitzpatrick, E. J. Glass

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting abstractpeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Mastitis remains one of the most important diseases in dairy cattle particularly in the western world. It costs the EU alone _100-200 million/year with economic losses due to reduced milk production, lower milk quality, veterinary treatment and also culling. In addition, as mastitis is an extremely painful disease, there are serious welfare implications. Current control measures are not always effective and developing vaccines targeted at mucosal surfaces such as the udder are proving difficult. Breeding for resistance to mastitis could be an alternative means of control but is not straightforward for a number of reasons. Although it is clear that there is a genetic component accounting for variation in mastitis resistance, it is likely to be multigenic and the trait has low heritability, possibly because mastitis scoring for genetic analysis usually does not take into consideration that mastitis is caused by different pathogens which elicit different host responses. Additionally mastitis is becoming more of an issue for dairy farmers because it has a negative correlation with genetic selection for increased productivity. We propose to take a different approach by taking advantage of the genomic resources now available for cattle to identify key genes and pathways that could ultimately lead to new genetic tests and selectable markers for breeding for mastitis resistance. Earlier studies indicated that measurement of the proliferative response of bovine peripheral blood T cells to formalin-fixed Staphylococcus aureus might be used as a potential mastitis-resistance predictor with high responders potentially predicting greater resistance to S. aureus mastitis than those with a low proliferative response. Our studies in a cattle cross-population showed that the level of proliferation to S. aureus was at least partially genetically determined ( h 2 = 0.2). We now aim to directly investigate whether young heifers selected on the basis of their T cell response to S. aureus into two groups of high and low responders, do differ in their response to experimental S. aureus challenge in vivo at 6-weeks of lactation. In addition to measuring clinical parameters, we will also transcriptionally profile the cells entering the udder and the udder tissue itself following infection. This project could provide more direct evidence of the predictive ability of the T cell test, and has the potential to reveal relevant gene and pathway targets as candidates for new genetic tests of mastitis resistance.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)261
Number of pages1
JournalVeterinary Immunology and Immunopathology
Issue number1-3
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Event 8th International Veterinary Immunology Symposium (8th IVIS) - Ouro Preto, Brazil
Duration: 15 Aug 200719 Aug 2007

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