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Staphylococcus aureus can elicit mild to more severe degrees of mastitis in cattle, depending on the response of the host's immune system and the virulence factors of the specific isolate. Several virulence factors are controlled by a global regulatory system, designated accessory gene regulator (agr). Thus, the objective was to examine associations between different capsular and agr types and the severity of bovine mastitis caused by S. aureus. All isolates were obtained from bovine subclinical (n = 50), mild clinical (n = 73), and moderate clinical mastitis cases (n = 28). Isolates containing the agrI gene and lacking the agr locus (agr-) were more prevalent among subclinical than clinical mastitis cases, whereas isolates containing the agrII and agrIII genes were more prevalent among clinical mastitis cases. The capsular types 5 (cap5) and 8 (cap8) were found in 42 and 44%, respectively, of the isolates obtained from subclinical cases and in 38.6 and 58.4%, respectively, of those isolated from clinical mastitis cases. Capsular type was not associated with type of mastitis (subclinical, mild clinical, or moderate clinical). We found a strong association between agr type and type of mastitis, suggesting that knowledge of S. aureus genetic profiles could be an additional tool to control this disease. Copyright © 2021 American Dairy Science Association. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Bruna F Rossi, Erika C R Bonsaglia, Jose C F Pantoja, Marcos V Santos, Juliano L Gonçalves, Ary Fernandes Júnior, Vera L M Rall. Short communication: Association between the accessory gene regulator (agr) group and the severity of bovine mastitis caused by Staphylococcus aureus. Journal of dairy science. 2021 Mar;104(3):3564-3568

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PMID: 33358797

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