Publications by authors named "Laura Schena"

2 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Composition, indigenous proteolytic enzymes and coagulating behaviour of ewe milk as affected by somatic cell count.

J Dairy Res 2011 Nov 26;78(4):442-7. Epub 2011 Aug 26.

Department of Production Sciences and Innovation in Mediterranean Agriculture and Food Systems (PrIME), University of Foggia, Via Napoli, 25, 71100 Foggia, Italy.

This study was undertaken to assess the effect of somatic cell count in ewe milk on i) composition and hygienic traits; ii) plasmin, cathepsin and elastase activities; iii) leukocyte differential count; iv) renneting parameters. Individual ewe milk samples were grouped according to somatic cell count (SCC) into five classes: SC300 (<300 000 cells/ml), SC500 (from 301 000 to 500 000 cells/ml), SC1000 (from 501 000 to 1 000 000 cells/ml), SC2000 (from 1 001 000 to 2 000 000 cells/ml) and SC>2000 (>2 001 000 cells/ml). Individual milk samples were analysed for pH, chemical composition, microbial features, indigenous proteolytic enzymes, differential leukocyte population, and renneting parameters. Milk yield, lactose, protein, non casein nitrogen, microbial features were affected by SCC level. Plasmin and elastase activities were the highest in samples with more than 1 000 000 cells/ml; plasmin had intermediate values in samples with 300 000 to 1 000 000 cells/ml and the lowest in samples with less than 300 000 cells/ml of milk. Cathepsin D showed significantly lower values in SC300 and SC1000 classes than in SC500, SC2000 and SC>2000 classes. The highest percentages of lymphocyte were found in samples with less than 1 000 000 cells/ml, while the highest levels of polymorphonuclear leukocyte were found in samples with more than 1 000 000 cells/ml of milk. Longer clotting time was found in SC>2000 samples, while reduced clot firmness was observed in SC500 and SC>2000 samples. Results on milk yield and on compositional parameters evidenced an impairment of udder efficiency in ewe milk samples starting from 300 000 cells/ml. Plasmin activity in milk can be considered as a marker of the synthetic and secreting ability of the mammary gland; furthermore plasmin and elastase were consistent with the health status of the udder. Finally cathepsin D played a role in the worsening of renneting properties of ewe milk.
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November 2011

Influence of space allowance and housing conditions on the welfare, immune response and production performance of dairy ewes.

J Dairy Res 2009 Feb 16;76(1):66-73. Epub 2008 Oct 16.

Dipartimento PRIME and Istituto per la Ricerca e le Applicazioni Biotecnologiche per la Sicurezza e la Valorizzazione dei Prodotti Tipici e di Qualità (BIOAGROMED), Università di Foggia, Via Napoli 25, 71100 Foggia (Italy).

The experiment used 45 Comisana ewes, divided into 3 groups of 15. The aim was to determine the effects of two different stocking densities and two different housing conditions on welfare, and on production performance of dairy ewes. The stocking densities tested were: high stocking density (1 x 5 m2/ewe, HD group) and low stocking density (3 m2/ewe, LD group); the two housing conditions tested were: ewes housed indoors (LD group, 3 m2/ewe) and ewes allowed to use an outdoor area (LDP group, 3 m2/ewe divided into 1 x 5 m2/ewe indoors and 1 x 5 m2/ewe outdoors). At the beginning of the experiment, and then every 2 months, the cell-mediated immune status of sheep was evaluated. One month after the beginning of the experiment, and 20 d later, the ewes were injected with chicken egg albumin (OVA) to assess their humoural immune responses. Starting from the beginning of the experiment and then monthly, behavioural activities of ewes were monitored using 15-min scans. After lamb weaning, milk yield from individual ewes was measured and milk composition analysed weekly. Housing conditions (low density reared ewes indoors v. low density reared ewes with free access to an outdoor area) affected cell-mediated response, which was higher in LDP than in LD ewes. Concentrations of anti-OVA IgG were mainly influenced by space allowance, with higher antibody titres in LD than in HD ewes throughout the experiment. Both housing conditions and space allowance affected sheep behavioural activities: a greater proportion of LDP ewes displayed standing and drinking behaviours than LD ewes, and a greater proportion of LD ewes was observed walking than HD ewes. Ewes allowed access to the outdoor area had a higher protein content and lower somatic cell count in their milk, whereas reduced space allowance led to a reduction in milk yield and an increase in somatic cell count of milk. Results indicate that both increased space allowance and availability of outdoor area can improve the welfare and production performance of the lactating ewe.
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February 2009