Mantovani joined the UW–Madison faculty as an assistant professor of animal and dairy sciences in March of 2022, specializing in rumen microbial physiology. His position is funded by the Dairy Innovation Hub.
Bovine mastitis, an inflammatory disease caused by microbial infections, impacts milk production, milk quality, and the overall health of the herd. Mastitis is a main challenge for the dairy sector due to its high prevalence and incidence, and difficulties in the diagnosis and treatment. It is also the most expensive disease in dairy cattle production in the US and worldwide. Current antibiotic therapies can be inefficient due to infections caused by environmental pathogens, antibiotic resistance, and the capacity of some mastitis pathogens to form biofilms. The goal of this project is to develop antibiotic-free or antibiotic-reduced formulations to prevent and treat udder infections in Wisconsin dairy cattle caused by common environmental pathogens associated with clinical mastitis. Drug screening using dose-response matrices will be applied to identify combinations that display stronger effects against mastitis pathogens. This study aims to provide alternative solutions to reduce antibiotic use in dairy farms while improving the effectiveness of udder inflammation treatment in dairy cows. This project aligns to Dairy Task Force 2.0 recommendation #9 (‘Support the National Dairy FARM Program or equivalent’).