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Am J Vet Res. 1998 Jun;59(6):765-71.

Anti-inflammatory benefits of tilmicosin in calves with Pasteurella haemolytica-infected lungs.

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  • 1Department of Biological Sciences, University of Calgary, Alta., Canada.



To determine whether tilmicosin alters neutrophil infiltration or function, induces neutrophil apoptosis, and affects accumulation of leukotriene B4 (LTB4) or tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) in lungs of calves experimentally infected with Pasteurella haemolytica.


12 weight-ranked Holstein calves.


Calves were given 25% propylene glycol vehicle (n = 5) or tilmicosin (10 mg/kg of body weight; n = 6) subcutaneously, 18 hours and 15 minutes before intratracheal infection with 2 x 10(8) P haemolytica organisms. Two unmanipulated calves served as controls in some experiments. Rectal temperatures were recorded 15 minutes before, and at 3-hour intervals after infection for 24 hours. Samples obtained from bronchoalveolar lavage performed 3 and 24 hours after infection were used to assess colonization by P haemolytica, and neutrophil infiltration. Neutrophil phagocytosis of P haemolytica, membrane leakage as determined by trypan blue exclusion, oxidative function as determined by nitro blue tetrazolium reduction, and apoptosis, using electron microscopy and DNA fragmentation ELISA, were determined. SOluble TNF-alpha and LTB4 were measured from supernatants from bronchoalveolar lavage samples, using ELISA.


Treatment with tilmicosin resulted in significant (P < 0.05) clearance of P haemolytica and neutrophil apoptosis at 3 hours, and decreased concentration of LTB4 at 24 hours. Rectal temperatures, neutrophil infiltration, phagocytosis, oxidative functions, membrane leakage, and soluble TNF-alpha concentrations were not significantly affected by tilmicosin.


Tilmicosin effectively controlled P haemolytica infection, induced neutrophil apoptosis, reduced pulmonary inflammation, and did not affect neutrophil infiltration or function.


By inducing neutrophil apoptosis, tilmicosin prevents further amplification of inflammatory injury in P haemolytica-infected lungs.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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