Bovine mastitis is one of the most important infectious diseases in dairy herds, and staphylococci are the most important etiologic agents of this disease. Antibiotics and chemical agents used in livestock for prevention and cure of the disease can accumulate in milk and give rise to food safety concerns. Rhodomyrtus tomentosa leaf extract was studied as an alternative approach to reduce the bacterial infections. The ethanolic extract of this plant demonstrated antibacterial activity with minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) values as low as 16-64 μg/mL against staphylococcal isolates. In addition, the extract had an effect on the bacterial cell surface properties by increasing its hydrophobicity in a concentration dependent manner. To further extend the antibacterial efficacy, silver nanoparticles synthesized with the extract, a pure rhodomyrtone, and liposomal encapsulated rhodomyrtone were applied and their inhibitory effects on bacterial adhesion and invasion were determined by ex vivo study in a bovine udder epidermal tissue model. These agents exerted remarkable antibacterial activity against staphylococci and decreased the adhesion of the bacterial cells to the tissues. These results supported that R. tomentosa ethanolic extract could be applied as an alternative agent for bovine udder care in dairy farms.
Keywords: Rhodomyrtus tomentosa; bacterial adhesion; bovine mastitis; cell surface hydrophobicity; staphylococci.