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Anim Health Res Rev. 2007 Dec;8(2):117-28. doi: 10.1017/S1466252307001375.

Mannheimia haemolytica and bovine respiratory disease.

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Dow AgroSciences, Indianapolis, IN, USA.


Mannheimia haemolytica is the principal bacterium isolated from respiratory disease in feedlot cattle and is a significant component of enzootic pneumonia in all neonatal calves. A commensal of the nasopharynx, M. haemolytica is an opportunist, gaining access to the lungs when host defenses are compromised by stress or infection with respiratory viruses or mycoplasma. Although several serotypes act as commensals, A1 and A6 are the most frequent isolates from pneumonic lungs. Potential virulence factors include adhesin, capsular polysaccharide, fimbriae, iron-regulated outer membrane proteins, leukotoxin (Lkt), lipopolysaccharide (LPS), lipoproteins, neuraminidase, sialoglycoprotease and transferrin-binding proteins. Of these, Lkt is pivotal in induction of pneumonia. Lkt-mediated infiltration and destruction of neutrophils and other leukocytes impairs bacterial clearance and contributes to development of fibrinous pneumonia. LPS may act synergistically with Lkt, enhancing its effects and contributing endotoxic activity. Antibiotics are employed extensively in the feedlot industry, both prophylactically and therapeutically, but their efficacy varies because of inconsistencies in diagnosis and treatment regimes and development of antibiotic resistance. Vaccines have been used for many decades, even though traditional bacterins failed to demonstrate protection and their use often enhanced disease in vaccinated animals. Modern vaccines use culture supernatants containing Lkt and other soluble antigens, or bacterial extracts, alone or combined with bacterins. These vaccines have 50-70% efficacy in prevention of M. haemolytica pneumonia. Effective control of M. haemolytica pneumonia is likely to require a combination of more definitive diagnosis, efficacious vaccines, therapeutic intervention and improved management practices.

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