Compton, C. W. R., Cursons, R. T. M., Barnett, C. M. E., & McDougall, S. (2009). Expression of innate resistance factors in mammary secretion from periparturient dairy heifers and their association with subsequent infection status. Veterinary Immunology and Immunopathology, 127(3-4), 357-364.
Permanent Research Commons link: https://hdl.handle.net/10289/8334
Mastitis in dairy heifers in the peripartum period is a common and costly problem for producers, and mammary innate resistance is of key importance in defense of the gland from bacterial invasion. A prospective observational study was undertaken in 97 dairy heifers to measure associations between expression of eight innate resistance factors in mammary secretions collected from the same animals within 14 days prior to calving and at calving, and intramammary infection (IMI) status at calving, and to describe changes in expression of these factors over time. Relative expression (RE) of eight candidate resistance mediator genes from cells from intramammary secretion was measured by quantitative real time polymerase chain reaction. Glands which were IMI-free pre-calving and did not develop a new IMI had significantly higher RE of molecule possessing ankyrin-repeat (MAIL) and beta defensin (Bdef) genes compared to glands which subsequently did develop a new IMI. Also, Bdef RE increased up to the day of calving in glands that did not develop a new IMI, but was unresponsive in glands that did develop a new IMI. Relative expression of complement 5 alpha receptor, interleukin 1beta and interleukin 8 increased in glands that did develop a new IMI. Serum amyloid A3 and toll-like receptor 2 RE increased in all glands up to the day of calving. Transforming growth factor beta RE was not associated with new infection status or time relative to calving. These findings support further investigation of function and gene polymorphisms of MAIL and Bdef as potential markers of mastitis resistance in dairy heifers.