Researchers have discovered components of the bovine mastitis-causing bacterium, Streptococcus uberis that play a key role in the disease.
Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council-funded researcher James Leigh and his team from The University of Nottingham, along with colleagues at the Institute for Animal Health and the University of Oxford, have discovered that Streptococcus uberis — a major cause of bovine mastitis — uses the enzyme SrtA to anchor at its surface the proteins required for it to cause disease.
They have also identified the individual anchored proteins that are required for the bacterium to withstand the responses within the udder that are trying to eliminate it.
Leigh says, "What's really exciting about this is that we've discovered elements of one of the main culprits in bovine mastitis that could actually lead to a vaccine in the future. By identifying which components of the bacteria play a role in causing the disease, we can see exactly where to hit it with a vaccine to stop it ever becoming a problem."