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Biomolecular characterization of mastitis caused by Staphylococcus spp. in meat sheep herds

Research Scholar

Guilherme Santana de Moura, PhD candidate, Federal Rural University of Pernambuco (Brazil)
Luciana da Costa, faculty mentor


  • Hometown: João Pessoa, Brazil
  • Degrees received: Master of Science in animal science, Federal University of Paraíba, Brazil; DVM, Federal University of Paraíba, Brazil.

What is the issue or problem addresses in your research?

Mastitis is a disease with great economic impact on meat sheep. In these herds, mastitis is considered the major cause of death in lambs until weaning due to the difficulty of the ewe in producing milk with adequate quality and quantity, contributing to starvation-hypothermia complex. The knowledge on molecular profile of these microorganisms is fundamental for better understand epidemiological dispersion of these pathogens, in order to elaborate correct prophylaxis protocols and mastitis control.

What methodology did you use in your research?

The identification of Staphylococcus will be done by Matrix Assisted Laser Desorption/Ionization - Time of Flight (MALDI-TOF) technique. Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) will be used as a confirmatory method for S. aureus species through detection of the nuc gene. All isolates will be tested for the methicillin resistance gene (mecA). Genetic profiles will be analyzed using the Random Amplified Polymorphic DNA (RAPD) technique.

What are the purpose/rationale and implications of your research?

At the conclusion of this study, we hope to characterize genetically the Staphylococcus spp. responsible for causing mastitis in meat sheep herds as well as to determine the transmission pathways of these pathogens.