Fri, 26 May 2006

Antimicrobials help prevent mastitis

The problems with mastitis in dairy herds has been aggravated by several factors, but there's one eight hundred pound gorilla in the room:

In the realm of infectious disease, one way to reduce microbial resistance that results from widespread antibiotic use is to come up with new ways to fight pathogens.

Translation: mastitis has gotten out of hand because we feed massive doses of sub therapeutic antibiotics to our cows. To solve the problem we're going to genetically engineer the cow to produce it's own antibiotics.

To which the bacteria that cause mastitis will never gain resistance, I'm sure.

Oh, and by the way, this new bovine generated antibiotic will be in the milk, too, but don;t worry: we've hired the same kinds of folks that tested Vioxx to insure that it's perfectly safe before we put it on your store shelf.

Here's a hint guys: stop feeding antibiotics as a matter of routine, keep your herd clean, adjust your milking schedules to fit the cows, and you'll be able to control mastitis. The approach described here is nothing short of madness.

ORLANDO, Fla. (ARS) - An Agricultural Research Service (ARS)-led team has combined specific DNA segments from two different sources to produce a novel antimicrobial protein.

(link) [The Prairie Star]

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