Innovative Resources for Small Ruminant Health

Project Overview

Project Type: Graduate Student
Funds awarded in 2018: $15,000.00
Projected End Date: 05/31/2019
Grant Recipient: University of Maine
Region: Northeast
State: Maine
Graduate Student:
Faculty Advisor:
Anne Lichtenwalner, DVM PhD
University of Maine


  • Animals: goats, sheep


  • Animal Production: animal protection and health, herbal medicines

    Proposal abstract:

    Caseous lymphadenitis (CL) is a highly contagious and chronic disease that effects small ruminants worldwide. CL is caused by Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis (Cp), an extremely resilient pathogen that can survive for months in the host’s living environment. Treatment of CL is a challenge due to Cp’s resistance to many antibiotics and the inefficacy and side effects of previous vaccines. The goal of this project is to find an alternative method of treatment and control of CL using essential oils with known antimicrobial properties. The student will test the antimicrobial effects of common essential oil components on Cp cultures that have been isolated from Maine sheep and goats, as well as their effect on host immune cells. The results of this project could help farmers to control the spread of CL infections in a sustainable yet effective manner.

    Project objectives from proposal:

    1. To determine which essential oil constituents are most effective as antimicrobials against C. pseudotuberculosis

    2. To determine the cytotoxic effects of select essential oils on mammalian immune cells

    3. To evaluate stimulatory effects of essential oil constituents on immune-related genes in macrophage and neutrophil cells

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.