Staphylococcus aureus – The Fight against the Little Bacterium that Causes Big Problems in Dairy Farming

Staphylococcus aureus is a notorious infectious agent in humans and animals, which sometimes causes infectious (genotype B (=GTB)) mastitis in cows. The consequences of Staph. Aureus GTB for the Swiss dairy industry are serious, and go hand-in-hand with inadequate milk quality, high costs for antibiotics, and culling. The mountain areas (alpine farming) are particularly affected by the pathogen, with infection present in up to 40 per cent of herds. In this project, our researchers are hoping to make an entire canton – Ticino – GTB-free for the first time. Together with the other subprojects – new knowledge on the development of antibiotic resistance and the regulation of enterotoxins – Agroscope researchers aim to significantly improve milk quality and the food safety of dairy products, as well as to drastically decrease both costs and antibiotic use in the dairy industry.

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