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Efficacy of recombinant bovine epidermal growth factor in the treatment of experimental subclinical Staphylococcus aureus mastitis in a ewe model
  1. Kamal Gabadage,
  2. Manuel Chirino-Trejo,
  3. John Campbell and
  4. Christopher Luby
  1. Western College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada
  1. Correspondence to Dr Christopher Luby; chris.luby{at}


Staphylococcus aureus is the most common contagious mastitis pathogen of dairy cattle. Antimicrobial treatment of infected cattle results in variable cure rates. Epidermal growth factor (EGF) plays an important role in the modulation of host innate immune responses and the regulation of mammary epithelial regeneration, indicating that EGF may be useful as a treatment for mastitis. A pilot study was conducted to evaluate the efficacy of recombinant bovine EGF (rbEGF) for the treatment of S aureus intramammary infection (IMI) using an ovine model. Each ewe was experimentally infected with S aureus in both udder halves. One udder half of each ewe received one of two treatments: EGF (n=13) or pirlimycin (n=13). The contralateral udder half of each ewe received sterile saline as a control. The bacteriological cure rate following rbEGF was significantly lower (15 per cent) than that attained with pirlimycin hydrochloride (61 per cent) and did not differ from that following treatment with sterile saline. Cure rates following treatment with rbEGF were not significantly different to those following sterile saline. Given that EGF is associated with modulation of host immunity and wound healing, future studies into EGF should not focus on whether EGF increases cure rates of S aureus IMI.

  • Dairy cattle
  • Mastitis
  • Treatment
  • Staphylococcus aureus

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  • Contributors Technical assistance was provided by Dr Lyall Petrie and Dr Asha Perera.

  • Funding Zyme Fast System, Manitoba, Canada.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data sharing statement All raw data from the study are available by contacting the corresponding author.

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