Experimental mastitis induced with a single intramammary injection of was compared with two naturally occurring cases. Four strains of , two of serotype 1/2a and two of serotype 4b were used for the experimental infections and two diametrically opposed quarters of four cows were inoculated with 300 cfu. Bacteriological examination and somatic cell counts of quarter foremilk samples were performed weekly for at least 6 months after challenge. All the inoculated quarters developed chronic subclinical mastitis with occasional clinical episodes. The results were similar to those observed in natural listeria mastitis. Four experimentally infected quarters were treated during lactation (gentamicin and cloxacillin) or at “drying-off” (cloxacillin), or at both times. Only one of four quarters was cured after treatment only at “drying-off”. All experimental and naturally infected animals were slaughtered and bacteriological examination was performed on liver, spleen and supramammary, iliac and mesenteric lymph nodes. strains were isolated from the supramammary lymph nodes of two experimentally and two naturally infected cows and from an iliac lymph node from one of the naturally infected cows. The epidemiological data were supported by serotyping, lysotyping and DNA macro-restriction analysis. The experimental model of listeria mastitis mimics spontaneous cases and should be useful in further studies of listeria mastitis.


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