Presence of sub-epithelial lymphoid tissues in the teat of ewe-lambs and adult ewes
AuthorFragkou, I. A.; Mavrogianni, V. S.; Papaioannou, N.; Boscos, C.; Cripps, P. J.; Skoufos, J.; Fthenakis, G. C.
In the first part of the study, 24 clinically healthy teats from non-lactating ewe-lambs were examined bacteriologically and histologically. No bacteria were isolated from any of these teats; lymphocytes were observed in teat cisterns of six teats (25%) from three ewes. In the second part, 87 teats from adult ewes were examined; their origin was from lactating mammary glands with no bacteria isolated (n =23), from glands after lactation with no bacteria isolated (n =25), from lactating glands with bacteria isolated (n=22) or from glands after lactation with bacteria isolated (n= 17). The salient histological feature was sub-epithelial leucocytic infiltration. In teat cisterns, lymphocytes were the predominant cell type and in teat ducts, lymphocytes and neutrophils were seen in equal proportions. Sub-epithelial lymphoid nodules, some with germinal centers, were detected in 43 (49%) teats; their majority was observed at the border between teat duct and teat cistern. Presence of bacteria was significantly associated with presence of leucocytic activity (P<0.001) and with presence of lymphoid nodules (P=0.032). We conclude that the presence of induced sub-epithelial lymphoid tissue at the border between teat duct and teat cistern appears to be important in protecting the mammary gland during the early stages of bacterial invasion. (C) 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.