CSI mastitis: fingerprinting the culprit

Zadoks, R. H. (2015) CSI mastitis: fingerprinting the culprit. Cattle Practice, 2(23), pp. 225-223.

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Publisher's URL: http://www.bcva.eu/cattle-practice/documents/3778


DNA fingerprinting or molecular typing of mastitis pathogens has been used for decades to gain insight into mastitis epidemiology. Bacterial isolates from infections due to contagious transmission share a DNA fingerprint, whereas isolates with distinct fingerprints cannot form part of contagious transmission chain. Using this methodology, several major mastitis pathogens have been shown to have mixed modes of transmission. The mode of transmission is strain- and management specific but not species-specific and it is incorrect to describe all Staphylococcus aureus as contagious or all Streptococcus uberis as environmental. Uniformity of DNA fingerprints of isolates from different cows can also result from point-source outbreaks and careful epidemiological investigation is needed to differentiate between scenarios that may yield identical fingerprinting results. At cow level, homogeneity of fingerprints for consecutive isolates indicates the probability of chronic intramammary infection. Conversely, heterogeneity indicates a series of infection, cure and re-infection events. Intervention measures at cow or herd level differ between chronic and recurrent infection and between contagious, point-source and environmental transmission. Strain typing can provide the evidence to differentiate such scenarios. In the absence of immediate access to strain typing facilities, insights gained from DNA fingerprinting studies will often be helpful in prioritising mastitis control measures.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Zadoks, Professor Ruth
Authors: Zadoks, R. H.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Biodiversity, One Health & Veterinary Medicine
Journal Name:Cattle Practice
Publisher:British Cattle Veterinary Association

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