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Vet Microbiol. 2018 Feb;214:140-147. doi: 10.1016/j.vetmic.2017.12.015. Epub 2017 Dec 22.

Injectable antimicrobials in commercial feedlot cattle and their effect on the nasopharyngeal microbiota and antimicrobial resistance.

Author information

1
Lacombe Research and Development Centre, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Lacombe, AB, Canada.
2
Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB, Canada; Feedlot Health Management Services, Okotoks, AB, Canada.
3
Feedlot Health Management Services, Okotoks, AB, Canada.
4
Lethbridge Research and Development Centre, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Lethbridge, AB, Canada. Electronic address: trevor.alexander@agr.gc.ca.

Abstract

Beef cattle in North America that are deemed to be at high risk of developing bovine respiratory disease (BRD) are frequently administered a metaphylactic antibiotic injection to control the disease. Cattle may also receive in-feed antimicrobials to prevent specific diseases and ionophores to improve growth and feed efficiency. Presently, attempts to evaluate the effects that these medications have on antibiotic resistance in the bovine nasopharyngeal microbiota have been focused on culturable bacteria that are associated with BRD. Therefore, we assessed the effects of injectable antibiotics on the nasopharyngeal microbiota of commercial feedlot cattle in Alberta, Canada, through the first 60 d on feed. Although all cattle in the study were also receiving in-feed chlortetracycline and monensin, the administration of a single injection of either oxytetracycline or tulathromycin at feedlot placement altered the nasopharyngeal microbiota in comparison with the cattle receiving only in-feed antibiotics. Oxytetracycline significantly (P < 0.05) reduced the relative abundance of Mannheimia spp. from feedlot entry to exit (≥60 d) and both oxytetracycline and tulathromycin treated cattle had a significantly lower relative abundance of Mycoplasma spp. at feedlot exit compared with the in-feed antibiotic only group. The proportion of the tetracycline resistance gene tet(H) was significantly increased following oxytetracycline injection (P < 0.05). Oxytetracycline also reduced both the number of OTUs and the Shannon diversity index in the nasopharyngeal microbiota (P < 0.05). These results demonstrate that in feedlot cattle receiving subtherapeutic in-feed antimicrobials, the administration of a single injection of either oxytetracycline or tulathromycin resulted in measurable changes to the nasopharyngeal microbiota during the first 60 d following feedlot placement.

KEYWORDS:

Antimicrobial resistance; Bovine respiratory disease; Feedlot cattle; Nasopharyngeal microbiota

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