Respiratory pathogens in veal calves: Inventory of circulating pathogens

Adriaan Antonis, Manon Swanenburg, Henk Wisselink, Bregtje Smit, Ed G M van Klink, Thomas Hagenaars

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
40 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

In the veal industry in The Netherlands, each year around 1.2 million “white” veal calves are produced on around 1100 farms. Bovine respiratory disease (BRD) causes serious health issues in these calves, also resulting in high usage of antimicrobials. To reduce antimicrobial usage, a more targeted treatment regime is needed, for which it is necessary to identify the causative agent. This study aimed at determining associations between pathogens and clinical disease, between prevalence of pathogens and BRD outbreaks, and BRD and performance. A cohort study was conducted involving ten veal farms, in which calf respiratory health was evaluated for the first 12 weeks. Whenever there was an outbreak of BRD, as determined by the farm veterinary surgeon, samples were taken from diseased and control calves through broncho-alveolar lavage. From these samples a broad spectrum of micro-organisms were isolated. Performance data were also collected. A total of 23 outbreaks happened during the 12 week study period, mostly in the first six weeks. BRD associated pathogens found were: BHV1, BPI3V, BRSV, BVDV, Pasteurella multocida, Mannheimia haemolytica, Trueperella pyogenes, Histophilus somni, Mycoplasma bovis, Mycoplasma bovirhinis and Mycoplasma dispar. For most BRD associated pathogens, there was no clear association between presence or prevalence of the micro-organisms and clinical issues. Only T. pyogenes (7.4% in healthy, 14.6% in diseased calves, p 0.013), M. bovis (37.6% and 63.2% respectively, p 0.001) and BVDV (9.9% and 16.9% respectively, p 0.03) were found more often in diseased animals. BPI3V was found in a few early outbreaks, which might suggest involvement in early outbreaks. It appears to be difficult to associate specific pathogens to outbreaks at the species level. BRD is the major reason for treatment with antimicrobials. More specific knowledge about the association between pathogens and health/disease could help to reduce antimicrobial use.
Original languageEnglish
Article number109571
Number of pages9
JournalVeterinary Microbiology
Volume274
Early online date10 Sept 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 14 Sept 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was part of a Public Private Partnership project between Product Board for Livestock and Meat, MSD Animal Health, VION Food Group, Denkavit, Van Drie Group, Wageningen Research and the national government with the aim to develop measures to control BRD in veal calves. The Public Private Partnership project was collectively funded by the Ministry of Agriculture , Nature and Food Quality of The Netherlands and the following companies: Van Drie Group, Denkavit and MSD Animal Health.

Funding Information:
This study was part of a Public Private Partnership project between Product Board for Livestock and Meat, MSD Animal Health, VION Food Group, Denkavit, Van Drie Group, Wageningen Research and the national government with the aim to develop measures to control BRD in veal calves. The Public Private Partnership project was collectively funded by the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality of The Netherlands and the following companies: Van Drie Group, Denkavit and MSD Animal Health.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Authors

Keywords

  • Veal calves Bovine respiratory disease Relation pathogen-disease

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