Open Access Open Badges Research

Variation of inflammatory dynamics and mediators in primiparous cows after intramammary challenge with Escherichia coli

Adel Pezeshki1, Philippe Stordeur2, Hugues Wallemacq3, Frédéric Schynts2, Mieke Stevens1, Philippe Boutet3, Luc J Peelman1, Bart De Spiegeleer1, Luc Duchateau1, Fabrice Bureau3 and Christian Burvenich1*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Comparative Physiology and Biometrics, Laboratory of Genetics, Drug Quality and Registration Group, Ghent University, B-9000 Ghent, Belgium

2 Departement Biotechnologie, plateforme Infectiologie Expérimentale, Centre d'Economie Rurale, B-6900 Marloie, Belgium

3 Laboratory of Cellular and Molecular Physiology, GIGA-Research and Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Liège, B-4000 Liège, Belgium

For all author emails, please log on.

Veterinary Research 2011, 42:15  doi:10.1186/1297-9716-42-15

Published: 24 January 2011


The objective of the current study was to investigate (i) the outcome of experimentally induced Escherichia coli mastitis in primiparous cows during early lactation in relation with production of eicosanoids and inflammatory indicators, and (ii) the validity of thermography to evaluate temperature changes on udder skin surface after experimentally induced E. coli mastitis. Nine primiparous Holstein Friesian cows were inoculated 24 ± 6 days (d) after parturition in both left quarters with E. coli P4 serotype O32:H37. Blood and milk samples were collected before and after challenge with E. coli. The infrared images were taken from the caudal view of the udder following challenge with E. coli. No relationship was detected between severity of mastitis and changes of thromboxane B2 (TXB2), leukotriene B4 (LTB4) and lipoxin A4 (LXA4). However, prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) was related to systemic disease severity during E. coli mastitis. Moreover, reduced somatic cell count (SCC), fewer circulating basophils, increased concentration of tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) and higher milk sodium and lower milk potassium concentrations were related to systemic disease severity. The thermal camera was capable of detecting 2-3°C temperature changes on udder skin surface of cows inoculated with E. coli. Peak of udder skin temperature occurred after peak of rectal temperature and appearance of local signs of induced E. coli mastitis. Although infrared thermography was a successful method for detecting the changes in udder skin surface temperature following intramammary challenge with E. coli, it did not show to be a promising tool for early detection of mastitis.