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  • Author or Editor: David E. Anderson x
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Objective—To determine the precision of a clinical illness score (CIS) system for identification of clinical signs in calves with experimentally induced Mycoplasma bovis pneumonia and to evaluate the accuracy of CISs in relation to pulmonary consolidation scores assigned at necropsy.

Animals—178 Holstein bull calves that were 52 to 91 days of age at the time of pneumonia induction.

Procedures—5 trials involved calves challenged with M bovis and scheduled for euthanasia and necropsy 12 to 24 days afterward. Nine veterinarian observers with various degrees of experience simultaneously assigned CISs to calves within 48 hours before necropsy. The precision of the CIS system among observers was evaluated via the Cohen κ statistic. The accuracy of each observer's CISs relative to 6 cutoffs (≥ 5%, ≥ 10%, ≥ 15%, ≥ 20%, ≥ 25%, and ≥ 30%) of percentage pulmonary consolidation was determined by comparing prenecropsy CISs with the gross pulmonary consolidation scores assigned at necropsy. Estimates for sensitivity and specificity were calculated relative to the 6 pulmonary consolidation cutoffs.

Results—A slight level of agreement was evident among observers (κ range, 0.10 to 0.21 for the individual trials) and overall (κ = 0.16; 95% confidence interval, 0.10 to 0.24). Median sensitivity and specificity changed with pulmonary consolidation score cutoff. Median sensitivity for all observers ranged from 81.7% to 98.9%, and median specificity ranged from 80.8% to 94.9% over all cutoff values.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Agreement among observers assigning CISs to calves was low; the accuracy of the CIS system in relation to that of pulmonary consolidation scoring varied with the severity of consolidation considered to represent bovine respiratory disease.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To determine the usefulness of physiologic, behavioral, and pathological changes as objective indicators of early respiratory disease in calves with Mannheimia haemolytica pneumonia.

Animals—14 crossbred beef steers.

Procedures—Disease was experimentally induced in healthy calves through endoscopic pulmonary inoculation of M haemolytica. Calves were necropsied on days 1, 2, 3, 5, 7, and 9 after inoculation. Physical examination variables (rectal temperature, heart rate, and respiration characteristics), clinical illness score, and degree of activity were assessed 3 times daily beginning 4 days prior to inoculation and continuing throughout the study. Twice before inoculation and on days 1, 2, 3, 5, 7, and 9, arterial blood gas measurements, serum biochemical analyses, and CBCs were performed. Pedometers and accelerometers were used to monitor cattle behavior and activity throughout the trial.

Results—All calves became clinically ill after inoculation and had gross and histopathologic signs of bronchopneumonia. No variable was a reliable indicator of disease progression as judged by percentage of pulmonary involvement. However, activity as measured by total steps taken in a 24-hour period was lower after versus before disease induction.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—This single-pathogen challenge model successfully yielded clinical signs and pathological effects consistent with naturally acquired respiratory disease. Routine laboratory variables and subjective measures were not reliable indicators of lung involvement or the progression of pneumonia. However, activity, objectively measured with pedometers and accelerometers, appeared to be a promising indicator for early recognition of bovine respiratory disease.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research


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.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research