The bacterial ecology of the ruminant udder with particular reference to ewes. Emma Monaghan. Overview of my talk. Background on bacterial communities and mastitis Aims and objectives of my research Hypotheses and experimental design Current work Moving forward. Bacterial communities.
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2. To investigate how the microbial community structure changes with age of sheep
3. To determine whether microbial colonisation of the udder is inevitable, always detrimental or potentially beneficial if pathogen strain load is limited
4. To determine whether the sequence of colonisation of bacteria influences the health of the mammary gland and sheep
2. To develop and optimise a bacterial DNA extraction method from sheep milk for the investigation of the microbial community of sheep udders
3. To use molecular-based whole community approaches including Q-PCR, genetic fingerprinting techniques such as DGGE and DNA sequencing techniques such as pyrosequencing to analyse the whole bacterial community in sheep milk
1. With increasing number of lactations, the number, species and strains of bacteria colonising the udder increase
2. Pathogen load and presence of specific virulence markers in sheep with either clinical or sub-clinical mastitis is related to sheep age (number of lactations)
3. The bacterial load of pathogens and the ratio of pathogenic to benign strains of microbes affect weight gain in lambs