Mastitis in dairy ruminants is considered to be the most expensive disease to farmers worldwide. Recently, the intramammary infusion of lactic acid bacteria has emerged as a potential new alternative to antibiotics for preventing and treating bovine mastitis. In this study we have investigated in vitro the probiotic potential of Lactococcus lactis LMG 7930, a food-grade and nisin-producing strain, against mastitis-causing pathogens. We have characterized its carbohydrate fermentation and antibiotic susceptibility profiles, cell surface properties and antimicrobial activity, as well as its capabilities to adhere to and inhibit the invasion of pathogens into the bovine mammary epithelial cell line BME-UV1d. We found that L. lactis LMG 7930 was sensitive to tested drugs, according to the EFSA Panel on Additives and Products or Substances used in Animal Feed (FEEDAP), and showed an improved carbohydrate fermentation capacity compared to starter strains. Moreover, the strain exhibited antagonistic properties towards many of the pathogens tested. It presented medium surface hydrophobicity, a low basic property and no electron acceptor capability. It showed low auto-aggregation and no co-aggregation abilities towards any of the tested pathogens. The strain was one of the most adhesive to bovine mammary epithelial cells among tested bacteria, but its internalisation was low. The strain did not affect significantly pathogen invasion; however, a trend to decrease internalization of some pathogens tested was observed. In conclusion, our results suggest that this strain might be a promising candidate for the development of new strategies of mastitis control in ruminants. Future investigations are needed to evaluate its safety and efficacy under field conditions.
- Animal Diseases/microbiology
- Anti-Bacterial Agents/pharmacology
- Bacterial Adhesion
- Lactococcus lactis
- Microbial Sensitivity Tests
- Probiotics/administration & dosage