[en] Staphylococcus (S.) aureus is a major udder pathogen causing bovine mastitis. Some pro-inflammatory cytokines, including tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha), enhance extracellular and intracellular growth of S. aureus, indicating that the inflammatory process favors S. aureus infection. Helenalin is a sesquiterpene lactone with potent anti-inflammatory properties. This study was designed to evaluate the effects of helenalin on S. aureus infection. First, in vitro experiments were conducted. These studies revealed that proliferation of S. aureus in bovine mammary epithelial MAC-T cells treated in the presence or absence of TNF-alpha was markedly reduced in the presence of helenalin. Secondly, in vivo effects of helenalin were investigated. Lactating mice treated in the presence or absence of helenalin were challenged by the intramammary route with S. aureus and the bacteria in the mammary glands were counted 12 h after infection. Significantly less numbers of bacteria were recovered from the infected glands of helenalin-treated mice compared with untreated mice. Moreover, histological examination of mammary tissue from helenalin-treated mice that were challenged with S. aureus indicated that helenalin is able to significantly reduce leukocyte infiltration in the mammary gland following S. aureus inoculation. Our results show that helenalin reduces S. aureus intracellular growth and experimental S. aureus infection. We conclude that helenalin may be of potential interest in the treatment of S. aureus-induced mastitis in the bovine species.