Advancing the health and well-being of animals and people


Principal Investigator: Ynte Schukken

Department of Population Medicine and Diagnostic Sciences
Email: yhs2@cornell.edu; Phone: 607-253-3207
Sponsor: USDA NIFA Multistate Federal Formula Funds
Grant Number: NYC-486801
Title: Mastitis Resistance to Enhance Dairy Food Safety
Project Amount: $90,000
Project Period: 10/01/13-09/30/17

DESCRIPTION (Provided by Applicant): Cows in the last trimester of pregnancy are in a difficult immunological position. On the one hand, the rapidly growing calf in the womb provides a challenge to their immune system as this is mostly a 'foreign' body. Hence the immune response tends to be down regulated so that the newborn is protected against its own mother. On the other hand, the cow continues to be exposed to invading organisms, such as bacteria to come into the mammary gland. These bacteria would need an active immune response to be eliminated.

To obtain a better understanding of the cows' ability to maintain a balance between immune down regulation and active immune responsiveness, we will be developing tests to describe the immune response of the cow in the last trimester of pregnancy. Using the developed immune function tests, we will be studying the immune response in detail and evaluate whether it is possible to develop methods to support the immune response of the cow in pregnancy. The results of the study will be made available to dairy veter
inarians and dairy farmers.