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Open Access Research article

Randomized clinical trial to evaluate the pathogenicity of Bibersteinia trehalosi in respiratory disease among calves

Christy J Hanthorn1, Reneé D Dewell12, Vickie L Cooper1, Timothy S Frana1, Paul J Plummer13, Chong Wang14 and Grant A Dewell1*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Veterinary and Diagnostic Production Animal Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, Iowa State University, 2237 Lloyd Vet Med, Ames, IA 50011, USA

2 Center for Food Security and Public Health, Department of Veterinary Microbiology and Preventive Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50011, USA

3 Department of Veterinary Microbiology and Preventive Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50011, USA

4 Department of Statistics, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50011, USA

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BMC Veterinary Research 2014, 10:89  doi:10.1186/1746-6148-10-89

Published: 18 April 2014

Abstract

Background

Bibersteinia trehalosi causes respiratory disease in ruminants particularly in wild and domestic sheep. Recently, there has been an increased number of B. trehalosi isolates obtained from diagnostic samples from bovine respiratory disease cases. This study evaluated the role of B. trehalosi in bovine respiratory disease using an intra-tracheal inoculation model in calves. Thirty six cross bred 2–3 month old dairy calves were inoculated intra-tracheally with either leukotoxin negative B. trehalosi, leukotoxin positive B. trehalosi isolate, Mannheimia haemolytica, a combination of leukotoxin negative B. trehalosi and M. haemolytica or negative control. Calves were euthanized and necropsy performed on day 10 of study.

Results

B. trehalosi inoculated calves did not have increased lung involvement compared to control calves. Additionally, B. trehalosi was only cultured once from the lungs of inoculated calves at necropsy.

Conclusions

Based on these findings B. trehalosi may not be a primary pathogen of respiratory disease in cattle. Culture of B. trehalosi from diagnostic submissions should not be immediately identified as a primary cause of respiratory disease.

Keywords:
Bibersteinia trehalosi; Bovine respiratory disease; Calf; Pneumonia; Pasteurellosis