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Petzl, Wolfram; Zerbe, Holm; Günther, Juliane; Seyfert, Hans-Martin; Hussen, Jamal; Schuberth, Hans-Joachim (2018): Pathogen-specific responses in the bovine udder. Models and immunoprophylactic concepts. In: Research in Veterinary Science, Vol. 116: pp. 55-61
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Bovine mastitis is a disease of major economic effects on the dairy industry worldwide. Experimental in vivo infection models have been widely proven as an effective tool for the investigation of pathogen-specific host immune responses. Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) and Escherichia colt (E. coli) are two common mastitis pathogens with an opposite clinical outcome of the disease. E. coli and S. aureus have proven to be valid surrogates to model clinical and subclinical mastitis respectively. Contemporary transcriptome profiling studies demonstrated that the transcriptomic response in the teat reflects the course of pathogen-specific mastitis, being ultimately determined by the immune response of the mammary epithelial cells. After an experimental in vivo challenge, E. colt induces a vigorous early transcriptional response in udder tissue being quantitatively and - notably - qualitatively distinct from the much weaker response against an S. aureus infection. E. colt mastitis models proved that the local response in the infected udder quarters is accompanied by a response in noninfected neighbouring udder quarters modulating systemically their immune responsiveness. Immunomodulation of the udder was investigated in animal models. Pathophysiological consequences were studied after intramammary administration of cytokines, chemokines, growth factors, steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or priming of tissue resident cells with pathogen-derived molecules. The latter approaches resulted only in a temporal protection of the udder, reducing transiently the risk of infection but sustained lowering of the severity of an eventually occurring mastitis. They offer an alternative to vaccination trials, which over decades also did not yield protection against new infections.