R&d of comprehensive measures for the control of infectious inflammation of the bovine mammary gland

The project aims to develop a set of comprehensive preventive measures (improvement of breeding/milking, isolation of pathogens, production of specific vaccine) that would reduce the frequency and severity of mastitis in cattle.

Milk production is an important source of revenue for Czech farmers. As at 01/04/2013 less than 370 thousand dairy cows were bred in the Czech Republic and their number is decreasing on a long-term basis. This situation is mainly due to the economic indicators of milk production. The purchase price of milk is low in the Czech Republic and so the milk production often ranges at the limit of profitability. The way how to make the cow breeding more effective is to achieve a good health of cattle, which would mean reduced treatment costs, smaller number of treated cows and the associated smaller losses/outages in milk production. The most serious and most common health problem in dairy cows is mastitis (inflammation of the mammary gland). The inflammation can be of infectious origin, but it can also occur due to chemical, thermal or mechanical damage (injury), or as a result of stress (non-infectious origin). Therefore, it is called a multifactorial disease (caused by combination of a number of infectious pathogens and also a number of non-infectious factors). Therefore, complex preventive measures are important such as good hygiene practices and technological procedures in a milking parlour and breeding, supervision of animal welfare or quality food and drinking water, appropriate treatment before the termination of lactation and health monitoring during the dry standing period. The treatment of bovine mastitis requires significant financial costs for the purchase of veterinary medicinal products, separation and treatment of sick animals, disposal of milk of diseased cows (which cannot be used for food purposes) or dead animals (in cases of serious infections), for veterinary care, etc. The treatment of infectious mastitis includes in particular the administration of broad-spectrum antibiotics and preparations having an anti-inflammatory effect. The use of antibiotics in the treatment, however, brings about the risk of emergence of resistant microorganisms (MRSA etc.), the risk of residues in food, or environmental burden. It is also possible to use the only vaccine available on the Czech market - STARTVAC manufactured by Laboratorios HIPRA, Spain. The product contains inactivated strains of Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus. The vaccine contains only the basic and most common causative agents of infection of the mammary gland. It does not include e.g. Streptococcus uberis, therefore this product cannot be considered universal and it is necessary to know the profile of pathogens in individual herds before vaccination. If the disease is not caused by the strains contained in the vaccine, the vaccine will not be effective and will not improve the health status of the herd. Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli – the causative agents of bovine mammary gland inflammation can also cause a serious disease in humans, this means that it is a zoonosis. The measures restricting or preventing the transmission of the diseases from animals to humans are significant in terms of health of the workers who are in direct contact with animals, their excrements, or are involved in the processing of raw materials derived from these animals. The project will focus on the possibilities of successful management of mastitis. A robust system will be developed for performing audits on farms, which will respond to individual breeding conditions and, simultaneously, will be applicable to a wide range of breeding facilities. Methods necessary to identify the causative agent and sick animals (through laboratory microbiological testing) will be implemented as sick animals must be separated (risk of cross-infection between animals) and effective treatment must be applied to improve the overall health status of the herd. To maintain the good health of animals, it is desirable to increase their resistance against infection by vaccination and induction of immunity by induced formation of specific antibodies. Since the commercially available vaccine contains only two of many possible pathogens, procedures will be developed to isolate strains causing the disease in individual herds, to purify, multiply and inactivate them. A procedure will be developed for preparing a vaccine from these strains.
Project ID: 
9 548
Start date: 
Project Duration: 
Project costs: 
690 000.00€
Technological Area: 
Virus, Virology, Vaccines/ Antiobiotics / Bacteriology
Market Area: 
Animal Husbandry

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