Traditionally vaccines are evaluated as stand-alone treatments and are not considered as part of a chain of interventions for cheese safety improvement. However, specific immunization against zoonotic pathogens which cause mastitis or salmonellosis in cows has shown potential as pre-harvest tool to act in concert with other more classical strategies in further decreasing human exposure to milk-and cheese-borne pathogens. Recently, specific vaccination was used in the attempt to decrease the amount of the intestinal population of zoonotic pathogens which are not harmful for cattle, like enterohaemorrhagic Escherichia coli strains. These vaccines are not designed to prevent illness in the animal, but could significantly decrease the amount of the pathogen present in milking environment, thus in milk and possibly in cheese. Vaccines focusing on public, rather than animal, health represent fairly new ground for research that has also shown potential to reduce the risks for consumers resulting from chemical contamination of milk and dairy products. The effectiveness of vaccination was demonstrated in reducing AFB(1) carry over as AFM(1) in milk of dairy cows, following ingestion of contaminated feed. Therefore, vaccination seems to hold promise as an important pre-harvest intervention for safety assurance in early stages of milk and cheese production chain.
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