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A pilot study using a mouse mastitis model to study differences between bovine associated coagulase-negative staphylococci

  • Breyne, Koen
  • De Vliegher, Sarne
  • De Visscher, Anneleen
  • Piepers, Sofie
  • Meyer, Evelyne
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2015
Ghent University Institutional Archive
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Coagulase-negative staphylococci (CNS) are a group of bacteria classified as either minor mastitis pathogens or commensal microbiota. Recent research suggests species-and even strain-related epidemiological and genetic differences within the large CNS group. The current pilot study investigated in 2 experiments whether a mouse mastitis model validated for bovine Staphylococcus aureus can be used to explore further differences between CNS species and strains. In a first dose titration experiment, a low inoculum dose of S. aureus Newbould 305 (positive control) was compared with increasing inoculum doses of a Staphylococcus chromogenes strain originating from a chronic bovine intramammary infection to a sham-inoculated mammary glands (negative control). In contrast to the high bacterial growth following inoculation with S. aureus, S. chromogenes was retrieved in very low levels at 24 h postinduction (p.i.). In a second experiment, the inflammation inflicted by 3 CNS strains was studied in mice. The host immune response induced by the S. chromogenes intramammary strain was compared with the one induced by a Staphylococcus fleurettii strain originating from cow bedding sawdust and by a S. chromogenes strain originating from a teat apex of a heifer. As expected, at 28 and 48 h p.i., low bacterial growth and local neutrophil influx in the mammary gland were induced by all CNS strains. As hypothesized, bacterial growth p.i. was the lowest for S. fleurettii compared with that induced by the 2 S. chromogenes strains, and the overall immune response established by the 3 CNS strains was less pronounced compared with the one induced by S. aureus. Proinflammatory cytokine profiling revealed that S. aureus locally induced IL-6 and IL-1 beta but not TNF-alpha, whereas, overall, CNS-inoculated glands lacked a strong cytokine host response but also induced IL-1 beta locally. Compared with both other CNS strains, S. chromogenes from the teat apex inflicted a more variable IL-1 beta response characterized by a more intense local reaction in several mice. This pilot study suggests that an intraductal mouse model can mimic bovine CNS mastitis and has potential as a complementary in vivo tool for future CNS mastitis research. Furthermore, it indicates that epidemiologically different bovine CNS species or strains induce a differential host innate immune response in the murine mammary gland.

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