Does Small Ruminant Lentivirus Infection in Goats Predispose to Bacterial Infection of the Mammary Gland? A Preliminary Study
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The aim of this study was to determine whether asymptomatic small ruminant lentivirus seropositive (SRLV-SP) goats were more susceptible to bacterial infection of the udder when lactating by comparing the presence and species of pathogenic bacteria in their milk with the values for seronegative goats (SRLV-SN). Milk samples were collected during morning milking on days 20, 40, 60, 150, and 210 of lactation for three consecutive years and subjected to bacteriological examination. Staphylococcus caprae and S. xylosus were the most frequent strains identified in both SRLV-SP and SRLV-SN goats. The prevalence of pathogenic bacteria was the highest in the 1st lactation, regardless of SRLV status. Moreover, the prevalence of pathogenic bacteria was significantly higher in SRLV-SP goats, but only those in the 5th or further lactation (p = 0.010). This suggests a relationship between long-lasting SRLV infection and susceptibility to bacterial infections of the udder.
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