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J Mammary Gland Biol Neoplasia. 2011 Dec;16(4):323-38. doi: 10.1007/s10911-011-9229-x. Epub 2011 Sep 4.

Proteomic analyses of host and pathogen responses during bovine mastitis.

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US Food and Drug Administration Center for Veterinary Medicine, Laurel, MD 20708, USA.


The pursuit of biomarkers for use as clinical screening tools, measures for early detection, disease monitoring, and as a means for assessing therapeutic responses has steadily evolved in human and veterinary medicine over the past two decades. Concurrently, advances in mass spectrometry have markedly expanded proteomic capabilities for biomarker discovery. While initial mass spectrometric biomarker discovery endeavors focused primarily on the detection of modulated proteins in human tissues and fluids, recent efforts have shifted to include proteomic analyses of biological samples from food animal species. Mastitis continues to garner attention in veterinary research due mainly to affiliated financial losses and food safety concerns over antimicrobial use, but also because there are only a limited number of efficacious mastitis treatment options. Accordingly, comparative proteomic analyses of bovine milk have emerged in recent years. Efforts to prevent agricultural-related food-borne illness have likewise fueled an interest in the proteomic evaluation of several prominent strains of bacteria, including common mastitis pathogens. The interest in establishing biomarkers of the host and pathogen responses during bovine mastitis stems largely from the need to better characterize mechanisms of the disease, to identify reliable biomarkers for use as measures of early detection and drug efficacy, and to uncover potentially novel targets for the development of alternative therapeutics. The following review focuses primarily on comparative proteomic analyses conducted on healthy versus mastitic bovine milk. However, a comparison of the host defense proteome of human and bovine milk and the proteomic analysis of common veterinary pathogens are likewise introduced.

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