Efficacy of immunization against bovine mastitis using a Staphylococcus aureus avirulent mutant vaccine

Matías Pellegrino, Jose Giraudo, Claudia Raspanti, Liliana Odierno, Cristina Bogni
Vaccine 2010 June 17, 28 (28): 4523-8
Bovine mastitis is responsible of major economic losses on dairy farms worldwide. In Argentine dairy herds, Staphylococcus aureus is the main causative agent of the disease. The ineffectiveness of some current practices to control S. aureus infections, often leads to a chronic and recurrent infection with persistent bacterial reservoir within a herd. Vaccination against S. aureus seems to be a rational approach for the control of the disease. In the present study, we investigate the response of dairy heifers after a combined immunization schedule with the avirulent mutant RC122 S. aureus vaccine. Vaccinated and non-vaccinated heifers were challenged 40 days after calving with the parental virulent strain. After challenge, and during the study period, milk bacterial recovery was significantly higher in non-vaccinated heifers than vaccinates. Importantly, inoculated bacteria could not be isolated from the milk of vaccinated heifers until 72 h after challenge, and the overall percentage of infected quarters in these animals was significantly lower. An increase in the level of specific IgG was observed in blood and milk of vaccinated heifers during the trial. At calving, IgG(2) was the main antibody isotype found in blood. Immune sera from vaccinated heifers increased phagocytosis over sera from non-vaccinated heifers and were able to opsonize heterologous S. aureus strains. Results demonstrated that immunization of dairy heifers with strain RC122 was able to elicit a significant opsonic antibody production in blood and milk and provides protection by a significant reduction in bacterial shedding after challenge.

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