The current GB Dairy Cattle Welfare Strategy states the key priorities the dairy industry faces, and these include lameness, calves and youngstock (particularly their survival and growth rate) and mastitis. With bovine tuberculosis (bTB) remaining a key concern for farmers, the potential to impact on the incidence of key diseases could improve farm productivity and animal health and welfare.
The dairy industry has harnessed estimated breeding values and more recently genetics to select for animals with better production values to the detriment of health and reproduction. Endemic infectious diseases, such as bTB and mastitis, pose particular challenges as these are diseases for which traditional control strategies, by their designation as endemic, are not sufficient. Hence, alternative or complementary control strategies are required and breeding for increased host resistance to infection or disease is one such approach. We have funding from the Future Food Beacon to complement phenotypic data being collected within the CDSI to genotype each animal in the herd using the Bovine High Density (HD) genotyping BeadChip (>700K SNPs with median gap spacing <3kb) and produce an associated DNA biobank. This proposal aims to genotype the existing (projected) herd focussing on animals in parity 1 (current heifers), new heifers as they calve in over the next 12 months and the resulting female calves (>400 animals in total).This project will take this resource and mine the data to identify the key genotypes associated with the herd, isolate immune cells from representative animals and determine their pathogen-specific response to key bovine pathogens. Macrophages isolated from representative animals of the genotypes identified will be stimulated by a range of pathogenic bacterial species of differing virulence and the resulting host response analysed. The project will also investigate the role of the inflammasome in the macrophage response. It builds on previous studies which used a candidate gene approach, on pathogen recognition receptors, Toll-like receptors (TLRs) and immune markers, CXCL8, and identified genotypes which differed in their response to key pathogens.This project has the potential to contribute to an understanding of the genetic basis for susceptibility/resistance to key bovine diseases, namely mastitis and bTB, and provide an insight into the role of the inflammasome in the host response to these key pathogens.
Triangle Project with:
Tracey Coffey - firstname.lastname@example.org - School of Veterinary Medicine and Science
James Leigh - email@example.com - School of Veterinary Medicine and Science
Sharon Egan - firstname.lastname@example.org - School of Veterinary Medicine and Science
Sarah Blott - email@example.com - School of Veterinary Medicine and Science