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Testing a novel, immunologically based treatment for mastitis in dairy cows

G. Leitnera, Y. Pinchasov, E. Morag, Y. Spanier, S. Jacoby and others

MASTITIS in dairy cows is often treated using antibiotics, but there are concerns that overuse of antimicrobials in livestock could increase the probability of antibiotic-resistant bacteria emerging. This Israeli study aimed to test the effectiveness of a novel immunotherapeutic treatment – a bacteria-carrying microbead, called Y-complex – in the treatment of bacterial mastitis in cows.

The Y-complex formula contained microbeads carrying immunoglobin antibodies to Escherichia coli, Streptococcus dysgalactiae, Streptococcus uberis and Staphylococcus xylosus.

Two experiments were carried out. In the first, 21 mastitis-free lactating cows were split into three groups: a placebo-negative control group given saline solution, a positive control group treated with an antibacterial drug and an intervention group treated with Y-complex. Each cow was challenged with S dysgalactiae and then treated. Cows were monitored for 28 days following challenge.

Of the cows treated with Y-complex, four tested negative for S dysgalactiae by day 4. By day 10, only one cow in this group was positive for mastitis bacteria and this animal remained positive until day 28. In the positive control group, all cows tested negative for S dysgalactiae by day 4, but in two of those …

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