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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


item Paape, Max
item Burvenich, Christian
item Mehrzad, Jalil
item Monfardini, Erica
item Capuco, Anthony

Submitted to: Veterinary Research
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/19/2004
Publication Date: 6/19/2004
Citation: Paape, M.J., Burvenich, C., Mehrzad, J., Monfardini, E., Capuco, A.V. 2004. Role of neutrophil polymorphonuclear leukocytes during bovine coliform mastitis: physiology or pathology? Veterinary Research. 66(2):97-153.

Interpretive Summary: Since 1992 the scientists in the Laboratory of Physiology of the Veterinary Faculty at Ghent University, and the United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Beltsville, joined efforts in studying the underlying physiological mechanisms that determine the outcome of mastitis caused by opportunistic intramammary infection with ordinary coliform bacteria in high yielding cows. Details of our common research results have been compiled in twelve specialized reviews. The present review summarizes major findings concerning the inflammatory reaction in the bovine mammary within a physiological context and with special emphasis on the dual role of the neutrophil polymorphonuclear leukocyte in defense and tissue damage.

Technical Abstract: Bacterial invasion and growth within the cistern of the mammary gland is the main cause of bovine mastitis. Mastitis can affect essentially all lactating mammals, but is especially problematic for dairy cattle. Intramammary infections of dairy cows with Gram-positive bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus have received a lot of attention because of their major economic impact on the dairy farm through production losses induced by an increase in somatic cell count. Gram-negative bacteria causes inflammation of the mammary gland in dairy cows around parturition and during early lactation with local and often severe systemic clinical symptoms. About 80% of coliform infections result in clinical mastitis, 10% of which result in peracute mastitis with a sudden onset of septic shock. This disease affects many high producing cows in dairy herds and may cause several cases of death per year in the most severe cases. Conventional antibiotic treatment, extensive fluid supplementation and metabolic support are marginally effective in relieving disease symptoms.

Last Modified: 06/22/2017
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