Physiology and Genomics of Mastitis

Experimental dissection of host-pathogen interaction in the udder


Participate in the conference:

31st of October – November 2nd, 2011
Evangelische Akademie Tutzing; Germany


Organizers: Hans-Martin Seyfert, Leibniz Institute for Farm Animal Biology (FBN), Dummerstorf, Germany;
Otto Holst, Research Centre Borstel, Leibniz-Center for Medicine and Biosciences, Borstel, Germany.



The conference Physiology and genomics of mastitis will summarize key results from interdisciplinary experimental work on mastitis, as it has been conducted in Europe for the last 5 years. Two different approaches have been taken.

Approach 1: The German network FOR585 ("Mechanisms of pathogen specific immune defence in the mammary gland", sponsored by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft) has been analyzing the physiology of host-pathogen interaction in cows, based on infections of randomly selected healthy Holstein heifers, with either E. coli or S. aureus. Host analyses were complemented by studies on model cells. Microbiologists have been analyzing genetic and physiological adaptation of mastitis-causing E. coli and S. aureus pathogens, while biochemists have been characterizing their PAMPs. Some of these experiments contributed also to the scientific portfolio of the EU-sponsored EADGENE Network of Excellence and have been complemented by similar experiments conducted by other groups.

Approach 2: Experimental genetics has been used to demonstrate a strong influence of the host genotype on incidence, severity and resolution of mastitis. On the one hand, this was based on a cross in dairy sheep between animals with diverse breeding values for Somatic Cell Scores (INRA-Toulouse and ENVT). These experiments were sponsored by the EU through the EADGENE NoE. This approach was matched, on the other hand, by that of the German M.A.S.-net group (sponsored by the German BMBF) having analyzed the pathogen specific (E. coli vs S. aureus) response of genetically divergent (breeding value for SCS) cows. Bringing together results from these diverse approaches will allow for an unprecedented view on the reciprocity of the physiology and genomics during host-pathogen interaction in mastitis. As such the conference will present a state-of-the-art update on timely mastitis research.