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Vet J. 2012 Jun;192(3):535-7. doi: 10.1016/j.tvjl.2011.06.027. Epub 2011 Jul 27.

Beta-lactam antibiotics prevent Salmonella-mediated bovine encephalopathy regardless of the β-lactam resistance status of the bacteria.

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Department of Biomedical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50011, USA.


This study assessed the capacity of β-lactam antibiotics to prevent salmonella-mediated encephalopathy in calves given the putative neuroprotective effects of these drugs of increasing glutamate export from the brain. Both ampicillin and ceftiofur prevented the development of encephalopathy despite resistance of the inoculated Salmonella enterica serovar Saint-Paul isolate to both drugs. A glutamate receptor antagonist also prevented this salmonella-mediated encephalopathy. Glutamate exporters were hyper-expressed in the presence of β-lactam antibiotics while a glutamate export inhibitor obviated the effects of these antibiotics, demonstrating a neuroprotective effect through glutamate export from the brain. The findings indicate that β-lactam antibiotics remain an important treatment option for this atypical form of bovine salmonellosis.

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