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Associations of various physical and blood analysis variables with experimentally induced Mycoplasma bovis pneumonia in calves

Brandon C. Fraser DVM, MS1, David E. Anderson DVM, MS2, Brad J. White DVM, MS3, Matt D. Miesner DVM, MS4, Jeff Lakritz DVM, PhD5, David Amrine DVM6, and Derek A. Mosier DVM, PhD7
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  • 1 Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS 66506.
  • | 2 Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS 66506.
  • | 3 Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS 66506.
  • | 4 Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS 66506.
  • | 5 Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210.
  • | 6 Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS 66506.
  • | 7 Department of Diagnostic Medicine and Pathobiology, College of Veterinary Medicine, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS 66506

Abstract

Objective—To determine associations of blood analysis variables and orbit and nasal planum surface temperatures with the onset and severity of Mycoplasma bovis pneumonia in calves.

Animals—28 healthy calves.

Procedures—Calves were challenged with M bovis (n = 24) on day 0 or not challenged (4). Blood samples were obtained for cardiac troponin I, CBC, and serum biochemical analyses on various days. Orbit and nasal planum surface temperatures were determined with infrared thermography on various days. Calves were euthanized, gross necropsies were performed, heart and lung samples were collected for histologic evaluation, and microbial cultures of lung samples were performed on day 14. Pneumonia severity was categorized as mild (< 10% lung consolidation) or moderate (≥ 10% lung consolidation). Associations between measured variables and severity of pneumonia or sample collection day were determined.

Results—Plasma cardiac troponin I concentration for the 28 calves was significantly higher on day 14 than it was on day 0 or 7 (least squares mean, 0.02, 0, and 0 ng/mL, respectively). No other variables changed significantly during the study. No substantial gross or histologic abnormalities were identified in cardiac muscle samples. Day 14 plasma fibrinogen concentration was significantly different between calves with mild pneumonia and those with moderate pneumonia (mean, 0.44 and 0.74 g/dL, respectively). Calves with moderate pneumonia had significantly lower least squares mean surface temperature of the dorsal aspect of the nasal planum (18.7°C) versus calves with mild pneumonia (22.9°C).

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results indicated the evaluated variables had low value for assessment of bovine respiratory disease complex in calves.

Contributor Notes

Dr. Anderson's present address is Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37996.

Supported in part by Abaxis Inc and CEVA Biomune.

Address correspondence to Dr. Fraser (bcfraser@ksu.edu).