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News Article

MicroRNAs in milk could aid early diagnosis of bovine mastitis


Milk levels of microRNAs were found to be associated with changes in mammary inflammation

Researchers at the Roslin Institute have determined that levels of microRNAs (miRNAs) in milk could be used as an accurate way to detect inflammation before clinical signs of mastitis are visible, potentially enabling rapid intervention to limit the impact of disease. The findings are published in Scientific Reports.

The researchers studied levels of four types of miRNAs, previously linked to inflammation, in more than 200 samples of milk taken from cows at various stages of their productive life. These results were compared against mastitis scores using the conventional California Mastitis Test.

The results suggest that levels of three of the four miRNA molecules, miR-142, miR-146a and miR-223, could potentially be used for high accuracy, early diagnosis of mastitis before the onset of clinical signs.

Corresponding author, Xavier Donadeu, said, “Mastitis in dairy cattle is a widespread problem and our ability to tell which animals will or will not become sick has not changed much in a decade. We need novel, reliable, cost-effective methods to spot disease early, preventing economic losses and limiting disease. Our study shows that analysis of miRNA molecules could offer a novel and accurate method of detecting mastitis in its early stages.”

Article: Tzelos, T., Ho, W., Charmana, V. I., Lee, S., Donadeu, F. X. (2022). MiRNAs in milk can be used towards early prediction of mammary gland inflammation in cattle. Scientific Reports, 12(1), 5131, doi: 10.1038/s41598-022-09214-9

Article details

  • Date
  • 01 April 2022
  • Source
  • The Roslin Institute
  • Subject(s)
  • Food Animals