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J Clin Microbiol. 2014 Feb;52(2):438-48. doi: 10.1128/JCM.02485-13. Epub 2013 Nov 20.

Pathogens of bovine respiratory disease in North American feedlots conferring multidrug resistance via integrative conjugative elements.

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  • 1Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Research Centre, Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada.

Abstract

In this study, we determined the prevalence of bovine respiratory disease (BRD)-associated viral and bacterial pathogens in cattle and characterized the genetic profiles, antimicrobial susceptibilities, and nature of antimicrobial resistance determinants in collected bacteria. Nasopharyngeal swab and lung tissue samples from 68 BRD mortalities in Alberta, Canada (n = 42), Texas (n = 6), and Nebraska (n = 20) were screened using PCR for bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV), bovine respiratory syncytial virus, bovine herpesvirus 1, parainfluenza type 3 virus, Mycoplasma bovis, Mannheimia haemolytica, Pasteurella multocida, and Histophilus somni. Excepting bovine herpesvirus 1, all agents were detected. M. haemolytica (91%) and BVDV (69%) were the most prevalent, with cooccurrence in 63% of the cattle. Isolates of M. haemolytica (n = 55), P. multocida (n = 8), and H. somni (n = 10) from lungs were also collected. Among M. haemolytica isolates, a clonal subpopulation (n = 8) was obtained from a Nebraskan feedlot. All three bacterial pathogens exhibited a high rate of antimicrobial resistance, with 45% exhibiting resistance to three or more antimicrobials. M. haemolytica (n = 18), P. multocida (n = 3), and H. somni (n = 3) from Texas and Nebraska possessed integrative conjugative elements (ICE) that conferred resistance for up to seven different antimicrobial classes. ICE were shown to be transferred via conjugation from P. multocida to Escherichia coli and from M. haemolytica and H. somni to P. multocida. ICE-mediated multidrug-resistant profiles of bacterial BRD pathogens could be a major detriment to many of the therapeutic antimicrobial strategies currently used to control BRD.

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