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Research

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Research Call

DAFM Reference

Lead(Collaborating)Institution

DAFM Award

DAFM National Call 2014 14/S/802 Teagasc (UCD) €348,941

Project Title:

Strain Specific Pathogenicity of Staphyloccus aureus

Project Coordinator:

Dr. Orla Keane

Project Abstract

Intramammary infection or mastitis results in inflammation of the mammary gland and is primarily caused by bacterial infection. Genetic selection for mastitis resistance is performed indirectly using traits genetically correlated to mastitis, such as somatic cell count (SCC). However, the genetic correlation between SCC and S. aureus mastitis is only moderate. Host-pathogen co-evolution is a paradigm of infection biology with hosts adapting to recognise pathogens and mount an effective immune response while pathogens evolve to avoid such recognition. Mastitis pathogens that evade the host immune system and fail to induce a significant inflammatory (SCC) response will have a selective advantage. S. aureus can evade the immune response by internalising within mammalian cells and modulating the host’s ability to produce pro-inflammatory cytokines, designed to attract immune cells into the udder. This ability is strain-dependent. Therefore, genetic selection on lower SCC alone may inadvertently result in a selective advantage for strains of mastitis pathogens which result in a reduced inflammatory response. This project aims to test the hypothesis that S. aureus displays strainspecific pathogenicity and pathogen-specific factors influence SCC. This project will identify robust bioavailable markers of S. aureus infection that could be used to refine selection of mastitis resistant animals.

Final Report:

Not available yet.