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The udder and its response to infection

EDUlib and Université de Montréal via Independent


As you know mastitis is a very costly disease on dairies. It is a complex, multi-factorial health problem and, all around the world, a large number of scientists, and their graduate students, are conducting research on this disease.

For that reason, experts from more than 20 countries have decided to work together to produce this series of three MOOC, designed for graduate students, to give them the knowledge they need to initiate their research program. Of course, these MOOCs will also be useful for dairy practitioners, teachers, and for individuals that already have a solid scientific background, and are interested to learn on bovine mastitis.

This first MOOC (of a duration of 15 hours) covers the basic knowledge on the mammary gland and its response to infections. We will discuss, mammary gland anatomy and physiology, immune response, the role of genetics, and pathophysiology, or, if you prefer, the changes occurring in mammary tissues following an infection.

This MOOC will soon be followed by two others MOOCS, that will cover bovine mastitis epidemiology and diagnostic, and finally, mastitis control.

We hope this series of course will answer all your questions and will be useful for your professional development.

Welcome to the first MOOC on "The mammary gland and its response to infection"!



Module 1 : Udder anatomy and physiology

  • The general anatomy and structure of the mammary gland including teat anatomy;
  • The physiology of the mammary gland including:
    • Development of the mammary gland prior to first lactation and prior to subsequent calvings;
    • Secretory activities during the milking phase;
    • Involution of the mammary gland at drying off.

Module 2 : Udder immunology

  • Bovine humoral and innate immunity;
  • Mammary gland local immunity.

Module 3 : Host genetics

  • Quantitative genetics;

Module 4 : Pathophysiology

  • Mammary tissues response following intra-mammary infection;
  • Involvement of neutrophils, plasma protein, cytokines, and bacteria in tissue damage.




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