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Expression of cytokines and respiratory burst activity of milk cells in response to Azadirachta indica during bovine mastitis

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The immuno therapeutic potential of hydro-methanolic extract of Azadirachta indica (A. indica) was studied during bovine clinical mastitis (CM). The somatic cell count (SCC), total bacterial count (TBC), milk differential leukocyte count (DLC), hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), superoxide anion (O2 ) production and interleukin- 2 (IL-2) and gamma interferon (IFN-γ) cytokines expression were studied before and after intramammary infusion of A. indica extract in diseased cows. The results revealed that A. indica treatment significantly (P < 0.05) decreased the SCC, TBC, milk neutrophil percent and significantly (P < 0.05) enhanced milk lymphocyte percent, H2O2 and O2 production by milk cells. The IL-2 and IFN-γ were expressed in normal healthy cows and diseased cows after A. indica treatment, whereas both the cytokines could not be expressed in cows treated with antibiotic and in untreated diseased cows. The results of the present study indicated anti inflammatory, antibacterial and immunomodulatory potential of the herb, these activities could be due to the presence of bioactive principle in the extract. This is a preliminary trial indicated beneficial effect of the herb against bovine mastitis it can be developed as an alternative therapy where the use of antibiotics is normally restricted.

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Fig. 1
Fig. 2


A. indica :

Azadirachta indica


differential leukocyte count

H2O2 :

hydrogen peroxide


interferon gamma




intramammary infection

O2− :

superoxide anion


reactive oxygen species


reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction


somatic cell count


total bacterial count


dimethyl sulfoxide


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The authors thank National Agricultural Technology Project for financial support. First author also thanks ICAR, New Delhi for granting Junior Research Fellowship.

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Correspondence to U. K. De.

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De, U.K., Mukherjee, R. Expression of cytokines and respiratory burst activity of milk cells in response to Azadirachta indica during bovine mastitis. Trop Anim Health Prod 41, 189–197 (2009). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11250-008-9174-x

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  • Azadirachta indica
  • Cytokine
  • Mastitis
  • Respiratory burst