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Effects of experimental challenge of ewes with Mannheimia haemolytica on subsequent milk composition

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  04 August 2008

Ilectra A Fragkou
Veterinary Faculty, University of Thessaly, Karditsa, Greece
Nikos Solomakos
Veterinary Faculty, University of Thessaly, Karditsa, Greece
Mark P Dagleish
Moredun Research Institute, Edinburgh, Scotland
Peter J Cripps
Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Liverpool, Neston, South Wirral, England
Nikos Papaioannou
School of Veterinary Medicine, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece
Costas M Boscos
School of Veterinary Medicine, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece
Haris N Ververidis
Veterinary Faculty, University of Thessaly, Karditsa, Greece
Charalambos Billinis
Veterinary Faculty, University of Thessaly, Karditsa, Greece
Denise C Orfanou
Veterinary Faculty, University of Thessaly, Karditsa, Greece
Alexander Govaris
Veterinary Faculty, University of Thessaly, Karditsa, Greece
Ilias Kyriazakis
Veterinary Faculty, University of Thessaly, Karditsa, Greece
George C Fthenakis*
Veterinary Faculty, University of Thessaly, Karditsa, Greece
*For correspondence; e-mail:


The objective was to describe the physicochemical changes during the early phase of subclinical mastitis and to associate them with pathological findings. A Mannheimia haemolytica strain was deposited into one teat duct of 25 ewes and the clinical, bacteriological, cytological, physicochemical (pH, milk composition), gross-pathological and histological findings were subsequently recorded. The organism was consistently isolated from samples of teat duct material (140/150) but not from mammary secretion (50/150). California Mastitis Test (CMT) scores increased (>1) and remained high (143/150 samples) after challenge; polymorphonuclear neutrophils (PMN) predominated in milk films, but the proportion of lymphocytes and macrophages progressively increased. Increased pH values (>7·0) were recorded in the mammary secretion from the challenged side. Furthermore, content of fat, total proteins and lactose therein decreased markedly. Histological changes (leucocytic infiltration, destruction of epithelial cells) were observed in the mammary parenchyma of the ewes. The present results confirm that the reduction of milk constituents is the effect of cellular damage and can occur soon after infection.

Research Article
Copyright © Proprietors of Journal of Dairy Research 2008

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