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Effect of intramammary infusion of chitosan hydrogels at drying-off on bovine mammary gland involution
- Lanctôt, S., Fustier, P., Taherian, A.R., Bisakowski, B., Zhao, X., Lacasse, P.
- Journal of dairy science 2017 v.100 no.3 pp. 2269-2281
- Holstein, ambient temperature, body temperature, cell movement, chitin, chitosan, dairy cows, hydrogels, immune response, innate immunity, lactate dehydrogenase, lactoferrin, late lactation, mammary glands, mastitis, milk, risk, risk reduction, sealants, secretion, somatic cell count, teats
- The transition from lactation to the dry period in dairy cows is a period of high risk for acquiring new intramammary infections. This risk is reduced when the involution of the mammary gland is completed. Accordingly, approaches that speed up the involution process after drying-off could reduce the incidence of mastitis. The current study aimed to develop a biological response modifier that could be injected into cow teats to promote immune cell migration and speed up involution. Chitosan, a natural polysaccharide derived from chitin, is able to trigger host innate immunity. We developed 2 formulations made from either high- or low-viscosity chitosan. Both are liquid at room temperature but form a hydrogel at body temperature. In the first experiment, each udder quarter of 7 Holstein cows in late lactation was randomly assigned at drying-off to receive one of the following intramammary infusions: 2.5 or 5 mL of 5% (wt/vol) low-viscosity chitosan hydrogel, 5 mL of 5% high-viscosity chitosan hydrogel, or 5 mL of water. Milk (mammary secretion) samples were collected from each quarter on d −4, −1 (drying-off), 1, 3, 5, 7, and 10. Milk somatic cell counts and the concentrations of involution markers such as BSA, lactate dehydrogenase, and lactoferrin were measured in each sample. In comparison with the control, the chitosan hydrogel infusions significantly hastened the increases in somatic cell counts, BSA and lactoferrin concentrations, and lactate dehydrogenase activity in mammary secretions. No major differences between sources or volumes of chitosan were observed for the measured parameters. The compatibility of this approach with an internal teat sealant was verified in the second experiment. Each udder quarter of 8 Holstein cows was randomly assigned at drying-off to receive one of the following intramammary infusions: 5 mL of 2% low-viscosity chitosan hydrogel, 4 g of an internal teat sealant, a combination of sealant and chitosan, or 5 mL of water. Milk (mammary secretion) samples were collected from each quarter on d −4, −1 (drying-off), 5, and 10 to measure involution markers. These results suggest that chitosan hydrogel infusion hastened mammary gland involution and activate immune response, which may reduce the risk of acquiring new intramammary infections during the drying-off period. Those results were not affected by the presence of the teat sealant, showing that both approaches are fully compatible and could be used in combination.