Experimental trial in heifers vaccinated with Staphylococcus aureus avirulent mutant against bovine mastitis

Matías Pellegrino, Jose Giraudo, Claudia Raspanti, Rosa Nagel, Liliana Odierno, Valeria Primo, Cristina Bogni
Veterinary Microbiology 2008 February 5, 127 (1): 186-90
Staphylococcus aureus, is the most frequently isolated pathogen from cases of bovine mastitis. Vaccination against S. aureus seems to be a rational approach for the control of staphylococcal mastitis. In the present work we evaluate the response of heifers vaccinated with a S. aureus avirulent mutant to the intramammary challenge with a S. aureus virulent strain. Clinical signs, production of milk, shedding of S. aureus cells, somatic cell count (SCC) and antigen-specific IgG in blood and milk, were determined. Two subcutaneous doses of a culture of the mutant, used as vaccine, was administered to four pregnant heifers 30 and 10 days before calving. The vaccinated heifers and four non-vaccinated were challenged 10 days after calving with the homologous virulent S. aureus strain, which was inoculated by intramammary route into two quarters of each animal. No local tissue damage was observed due to the administration of the vaccine. A significantly increase of specific IgG to S. aureus RC122 was detected in blood and milk of vaccinate heifers as well as a slight increase in daily milk yield during the trial. No significant difference on shedding of bacteria in milk and SCC were found among groups. In conclusion, vaccination of heifers before calving by an avirulent mutant vaccine of S. aureus, induced specific and significant antibody responses and provide better post-challenge conditions in vaccinated heifers.

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