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Experimental Intramammary Infection with a Strain of Escherichia coli Isolated from a Cow with Persistent E. coli Mastitis

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DOI: 10.4236/ojvm.2012.24029    4,482 Downloads   7,086 Views   Citations

ABSTRACT

Transient E. coli intramammary infections (IMI) are usually associated with rapid onset of clinical signs including mammary gland swelling and abnormal milk with rapid clearance of bacteria from milk. Conversely, reports have described strains of E. coli showing very different clinical trends. Persistent E. coli IMI are associated with mild clinical symptoms that disappear shortly after the onset of infection, possibly flaring-up intermittently during lactation. In the present study, we evaluated a strain of E. coli isolated from a cow with persistent mastitis to determine if the experimental infection model mimics naturally occurring persistent E. coli IMI. Uninfected mammary quarters of 7 Holstein heifers were infused within 10 days of calving with 50 colony-forming units of a persistent E. coli strain. Six of 7 heifers developed mild clinical mastitis with elevated rectal temperatures within 9 to 36 h after infusion. The challenge strain was isolated intermittently in milk from all infected mammary quarters during the first two weeks after infusion and 3 animals continued to shed E. coli periodically during the sampling period. One animal shed E. coli intermittently in milk for 172 d after challenge and developed clinical mastitis four times during this period. The isolated strain had an identical pulsed-field gel electrophoresis profile as the E. coli strain used to infuse mammary glands. The experimental IMI model described here mimics very closely naturally occurring persistent E. coli IMI, thus providing an excellent in vivo model to better understand pathogenesis and to facilitate development of control strategies for this important mastitis pathogen.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

S. P. Oliver, S. I. Headrick, M. J. Lewis, B. E. Gillespie, D. L. Johnson and R. A. Almeida, "Experimental Intramammary Infection with a Strain of Escherichia coli Isolated from a Cow with Persistent E. coli Mastitis," Open Journal of Veterinary Medicine, Vol. 2 No. 4, 2012, pp. 186-190. doi: 10.4236/ojvm.2012.24029.

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