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Res Vet Sci. 1987 Mar;42(2):179-86.

Proliferation of Pasteurella haemolytica in the calf respiratory tract after an abrupt change in climate.


Two groups of four calves were exposed to a poly-disperse aerosol of 1.3 X 10(4) to 16 X 10(4) colony forming units (CFU) of nalidixic acid resistant Pasteurella haemolytica type A1 litre-1 of air with a mass median aerodynamic diameter of 2.6 +/- 0.8 microns. One group of calves was kept at 5 degrees C, 72 per cent relative humidity (RH) and the second was subjected to an abrupt change in climate directly after aerosol exposure from 5 degrees C, 75 per cent RH to 13 degrees C, 84 per cent RH. Clearance of the organism from the respiratory tract of the calves was monitored over the subsequent 23 hours by a method of tracheal and nasopharyngeal swabbing. Clearance measured at the trachea in all calves in both groups was not a continuous, uninterrupted process but exhibited a temporary decline between eight and 14 hours. Calves subjected to an abrupt change in climate after aerosol challenge had raised respiratory rates eight to 14 hours later and P haemolytica proliferated in the nasopharynx over the entire 23 hours. There was no apparent effect of climate on P haemolytica in the trachea. It is suggested that rapid growth of P haemolytica accompanying a change in climate may be an important aetiological factor in pneumonic pasteurellosis of calves.

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