Bovine mastitis is the main cause of economic loss in milk production worldwide and Staphylococcus aureus is the agent most frequently associated with the disease. The aim of this systematic review was to assess the efficacy of vaccines for bovine mastitis caused by S. aureus and suggest the immunotherapeutic protocols that have achieved the best and/or most promising results. An electronic search was made of the PubMed and Web of Science databases in November 2009. Only studies that tested vaccines in vivo in cows were included. The experimental design, methodological quality, type of vaccine and results of the studies were analyzed. Twenty-four papers were selected for this review. In general, bacterin-toxoid vaccines, vaccines of DNA-recombinant protein and recombinant protein alone were investigated in the studies selected. This systematic review suggests that vaccines that employ new technologies (DNA and/or recombinant protein vaccines) and some long-standing bacterins have achieved good results, which supports their use in the prevention and control of bovine mastitis caused by S. aureus. However, methodological differences and in some cases, a lack of more severe scientific criteria (such as double blind protocols) hinder the assessment of the effectiveness of these vaccines. © 2010 Elsevier B.V.
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