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Evaluate agreement among the antimicrobial susceptibility profiles of Mannheimia haemolytica or Pasteurella multocida obtained by transtracheal wash, nasal swab, nasopharyngeal swab, and bronchoalveolar lavage.


100 Holstein and Holstein-cross bull calves with bovine respiratory disease.


Calves > 30 days old with naturally occurring bovine respiratory disease were sampled sequentially by nasal swab, nasopharyngeal swab, transtracheal wash, and then bronchoalveolar lavage. Samples were cultured, and for each antimicrobial, the MIC of 50% and 90% of isolates was calculated, and isolates were categorized as susceptible or not. Categorical discrepancies were recorded. Percent positive agreement and kappa values were calculated between isolates for each of the sampling methods.


Antimicrobial susceptibility varied by pathogen and resistance to enrofloxacin, florfenicol, tilmicosin, and spectinomycin was detected. Minor discrepancies were seen in up to 29% of classifications, with enrofloxacin, penicillin, and florfenicol more frequently represented than other drugs. Very major and major discrepancies were seen when comparing florfenicol (1.9%) and tulathromycin (3.8 to 4.9%) across sampling methods. Some variability was seen in agreement for enrofloxacin for several comparisons (8.3 to 18.4%).


Susceptibility testing of isolates from 1 location of the respiratory tract can reliably represent susceptibility in other locations. Nevertheless, the potential for imperfect agreement between sampling methods does exist. The level of restraint available, the skill level of the person performing the sampling, the age and size of the animal, disease status, and treatment history all must be factored into which test is most appropriate for a given situation.

Open access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research