Researchers from the Universities of Otago and Auckland have teamed up with Deosan, the manufacturer and supplier of a range of animal health products, to develop new sanitisers for mastitis management. The aim is to enhance New Zealand’s position as a global leader in milk quality by improving performance in mastitis prevention and guard against the emergence of antimicrobial resistance.
Mastitis, a bacterial infection of the udder, is the foremost production-limiting disease for dairying worldwide. It costs the New Zealand dairy industry more than $280 million a year in treatment and discarded milk.
The industry relies largely on just two antimicrobial sanitisers to control mastitis, administered through teat sprays. Both formulations contain bioactive ingredients (chlorhexidine or iodine) that are also widely used for infection control in hospitals.
The mounting threat of antimicrobial resistance in clinical environments and lower acceptance of chemical residues in consumer products have prompted calls for the development of new types of products for use within the dairy industry.
Previous research by the team (supported by Agmardt) has uncovered a new class of molecules with potent antimicrobial activity against mastitis-causing microorganisms. These have the potential to synergise with current treatments while being harmless to mammalian cells.
The study will use a combined microbiological and medicinal chemistry approach to advance these new anti-mastitis molecules and pave the way for new teat care formulations.
Deosan chief executive Kip Bodle said this project provides an ideal opportunity for key stakeholders in the industry to collaborate to ensure we maintain our position as a global leader in producing quality milk.
“Our intention is to engage with government and industry leaders to ensure we are successful in commercialising products that could have global significance. Our more recent experience in the international arena strongly suggests that New Zealand innovation around milk quality resonates well with emerging dairy markets”
The Otago research team, led by Professor Greg Cook, Drs Michelle McConnell and Adam Heikal, are supported by the Auckland University team of Professor Margaret Brimble,