This study aimed to describe the expression profiles of microRNAs (miRNAs) from mammary gland tissues collected from dairy cows with Streptococcus agalactiae-induced mastitis and to identify differentially expressed miRNAs related to mastitis. The mammary glands of Chinese Holstein cows were challenged with Streptococcus agalactiae to induce mastitis. Small RNAs were isolated from the mammary tissues of the test and control groups and then sequenced using the Solexa sequencing technology to construct two small RNA libraries. Potential target genes of these differentially expressed miRNAs were predicted using the RNAhybrid software, and KEGG pathways associated with these genes were analysed. A total of 18 555 913 and 20 847 000 effective reads were obtained from the test and control groups, respectively. In total, 373 known and 399 novel miRNAs were detected in the test group, and 358 known and 232 novel miRNAs were uncovered in the control group. A total of 35 differentially expressed miRNAs were identified in the test group compared to the control group, including 10 up-regulated miRNAs and 25 down-regulated miRNAs. Of these miRNAs, miR-223 exhibited the highest degree of up-regulation with an approximately 3-fold increase in expression, whereas miR-26a exhibited the most decreased expression level (more than 2-fold). The RNAhybrid software predicted 18 801 genes as potential targets of these 35 miRNAs. Furthermore, several immune response and signal transduction pathways, including the RIG-I-like receptor signalling pathway, cytosolic DNA sensing pathway and Notch signal pathway, were enriched in these predicted targets. In summary, this study provided experimental evidence for the mechanism underlying the regulation of bovine mastitis by miRNAs and showed that miRNAs might be involved in signal pathways during S. agalactiae-induced mastitis.