There are millions of cases of mastitis annually. Mastitis can linger, and often recurrent signs often follow acute infection. Rates of antibiotic resistant Staphylococcus aureus are high in mastitis isolates from Brazil. The situation calls for better control, including hygiene practices that kill “protected” pathogens, where protection is conferred by antimicrobial resistance and by the ability of common mastitis pathogens to “hide” from antimicrobials within biofilms and host cells.
These challenges have inspired the RVC group to test the potential use of a micro-biocidal polymer to kill antimicrobial resistant, biofilm and intracellular forms of S. aureus. The project involves collaboration with work with researchers at the School of Pharmacy, UCL and the University of Sao Paul, Brazil. The preliminary (in vitro) results are promising and have prompted this research proposal, which aims to develop a novel anti-mastitis technology for practical applications on the Brazilian and global dairy farms. In this project, the group will test the effectiveness of the approach as a teat disinfectant on teat samples obtained from abattoirs. The team is hopeful that the results will help to guide them towards the development of an improved teat-dip control for mastitis, and in the longer term an improved therapy.