Study of the efficacy of a Streptococcus uberis mastitis vaccine against an experimental intramammary infection with a heterologous strain in dairy cows

R Collado, C Montbrau, M Sitjà, A Prenafeta
Journal of Dairy Science 2018, 101 (11): 10290-10302
Streptococcus uberis is a worldwide pathogen that causes intramammary infections in dairy cattle. Nevertheless, commercial vaccines are currently not available and measures to control S. uberis mastitis are limited to the implementation of good management practices. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the efficacy of an S. uberis subunit vaccine against bovine mastitis (Laboratorios Hipra S.A., Amer, Spain) administered precalving against an experimental intramammary challenge with a heterologous S. uberis strain in dairy cows postcalving. With this objective, 25 gestating Holstein-Friesian heifers were randomly assigned to 1 of 2 groups: group 1 (n = 13), vaccinated by intramuscular route with the vaccine, and group 2 (n = 12), vaccinated by intramuscular route with phosphate-buffered saline as a control group. Both groups were immunized 60 and 21 d before the expected parturition date (75 and 36 d before challenge). Fourteen days after calving all cows were challenged by intramammary infusion of 100 colony-forming units of a heterologous S. uberis strain in 2 quarters per cow. Then, challenged quarters were monitored for clinical signs of mastitis, bacterial count, and somatic cell count for the following 21 d. Rectal temperature and daily milk yield per cow were also assessed. Results showed that all challenged quarters developed clinical mastitis. Nevertheless, vaccination significantly reduced the clinical signs of mastitis, bacterial count, rectal temperature, and daily milk yield losses after the intramammary infection and significantly increased the number of quarters with no bacterial isolation and somatic cell count <200,000 cells/mL at the end of the study (d 19, 20, and 21 after challenge). To confirm the efficacy of this vaccine, further studies under field conditions are needed.

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