Publication Date


Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Eric Conte, Director, Darwin Dahl, Gethun Agga

Degree Program

Department of Chemistry

Degree Type

Master of Science


Bovine mastitis, caused by a wide array of pathogens, results in a substantial economic loss for the dairy cattle livestock industry. β-defensins are a part of the bovine’s innate immune system and act as the first line of defense against mastitis. Only foundational research has been done on β-defensins’ ability to treat and prevent mastitis. There have been no analytical methods reported in the literature for analyzing β-defensins in bovine milk. This research aims to create an analytical approach to determine β-defensins in bovine milk. It is challenging to determine an analyte in a complex sample matrix, and milk is a complex matrix. This research explored raw milk preparation (sample clean-up) for Liquid Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry analyses using size exclusion and reverse phase solid-phase extraction for sample clean-up. This cleaner sample aided the development of a preliminary method, that could be created to detect β-defensins using LCMS. A mass spectrum from a cleaned milk sample was obtained. Future research could expand on this experimentation to create a reproducible method to characterize β-defensins analytically.


Agriculture | Analytical Chemistry | Animal Sciences | Chemistry | Comparative and Laboratory Animal Medicine | Dairy Science | Environmental Chemistry | Life Sciences | Medicine and Health Sciences | Physical Sciences and Mathematics | Veterinary Medicine