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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2016

Mastitis Pathogens with high Virulence in a Mouse Model Produce a Distinct cytokine Profile In Vivo

Johnzon, Carl-Fredrik; Artursson, Karin; Söderlund, Robert; Guss, Bengt; Rönnberg, Elin; Pejler, Gunnar


Mastitis is a serious medical condition of dairy cattle. Here, we evaluated whether the degree of virulence of mastitis pathogens in a mouse model can be linked to the inflammatory response that they provoke. Clinical isolates of Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) (strain 556 and 392) and Escherichia coli (E. coli) (676 and 127), and laboratory control strains [8325-4 (S. aureus) and MG1655 (E. coli)], were injected i.p. into mice, followed by the assessment of clinical scores and inflammatory parameters. As judged by clinical scoring, E. coli 127 exhibited the largest degree of virulence among the strains. All bacterial strains induced neutrophil recruitment. However, whereas E. coli 127 induced high peritoneal levels of CXCL1, G-CSF, and CCL2, strikingly lower levels of these were induced by the less virulent bacterial strains. High concentrations of these compounds were also seen in blood samples taken from animals infected with E. coli 127, suggesting systemic inflammation. Moreover, the levels of CXCL1 and G-CSF, both in the peritoneal fluid and in plasma, correlated with clinical score. Together, these findings suggest that highly virulent clinical mastitis isolates produce a distinct cytokine profile that shows a close correlation with the severity of the bacterial infection.


mastitis; bovine; inflammation mediators; cytokines; chemokines; bacterial infections

Published in

Frontiers in Immunology
2016, volume: 7, article number: 368

Authors' information

Johnzon, Carl-Fredrik
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Anatomy, Physiology and Biochemistry (AFB)
Artursson, Karin
National Veterinary Institute (SVA)
Söderlund, Robert
National Veterinary Institute (SVA)
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Biomedical Science and Veterinary Public Health
Rönnberg, Elin
Uppsala University
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Anatomy, Physiology and Biochemistry (AFB)
Uppsala University

Associated SLU-program

Future Animal Health and Welfare (until Jan 2017)

UKÄ Subject classification

Immunology in the medical area

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