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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2015

Short communication: Lipolytic activity on milk fat by Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus agalactiae strains commonly isolated in Swedish dairy herds

Vidanarachchi, Janak K.; Li, Shengjie; Lundh, Ase Sternesjo; Johansson, Monika


The objective of this study was to determine the lipolytic activity on milk fat of 2 bovine mastitis pathogens; that is, Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus agalactiae. The lipolytic activity was determined by 2 different techniques, that is, thin-layer chromatography and an extraction-titration method, in an experimental model using the most commonly occurring field strains of the 2 mastitic bacteria isolated from Swedish dairy farms. The microorganisms were inoculated into bacteria-free control milk and incubated at 37 degrees C to reflect physiological temperatures in the mammary gland. Levels of free fatty acids (FFA) were analyzed at time of inoculation (t = 0) and after 2 and 6 h of incubation, showing significant increase in FFA levels. After 2 h the FFA content had increased by approximately 40% in milk samples inoculated with Staph. aureus and Strep. agalactiae, and at 6 h the pathogens had increased FFA levels by 47% compared with the bacteria-free control milk. Changes in lipid composition compared with the bacteria-free control were investigated at 2 and 6 h of incubation. Diacylglycerols, triacylglycerols, and phospholipids increased significantly after 6 h incubation with the mastitis bacteria, whereas cholesterol and sterol esters decreased. Our results suggest that during mammary infections with Staph. aureus and Strep. agalactiae, the action of lipases originating from the mastitis pathogens will contribute significantly to milk fat lipolysis and thus to raw milk deterioration.


free fatty acids; bovine milk; mastitis bacteria; lipolysis; thin-layer chromatography

Published in

Journal of Dairy Science
2015, Volume: 98, number: 12, pages: 8560-8564