The Mammary Microenvironment in Mastitis in Humans, Dairy Ruminants, Rabbits and Rodents: A One Health Focus.

25 Apr 2018

The One Health concept promotes integrated evaluation of human, animal, and environmental health questions to expedite advances benefiting all species. A recognition of the multi-species impact of mastitis as a painful condition with welfare implications leads us to suggest that mastitis is an ideal target for a One Health approach. In this review, we will evaluate the role of the mammary microenvironment in mastitis in humans, ruminants and rabbits, where appropriate also drawing on studies utilising laboratory animal models. We will examine subclinical mastitis, clinical lactational mastitis, and involution-associated, or dry period, mastitis, highlighting important anatomical and immunological species differences. We will synthesise knowledge gained across different species, comparing and contrasting disease presentation. Subclinical mastitis (SCM) is characterised by elevated Na/K ratio, and increased milk IL-8 concentrations. SCM affecting the breastfeeding mother may result in modulation of infant mucosal immune system development, whilst in ruminants notable milk production losses may ensue. In the case of clinical lactational mastitis, we will focus on mastitis caused by Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli. Understanding of the pathogenesis of involution-associated mastitis requires characterization of the structural and molecular changes occurring during involution and we will review these changes across species. We speculate that milk accumulation may act as a nidus for infection, and that the involution 'wound healing phenotype' may render the tissue susceptible to bacterial infection. We will discuss the impact of concurrent pregnancy and a 'parallel pregnancy and involution signature' during bovine mammary involution.