Bovis ISSN 2398-2993

Bovine respiratory disease: approach to an outbreak

Synonym(s): Calf pneumonia

Contributor(s): Alexander Corbishley , Peter Down

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Why do calves get BRD?

  • The mucociliary escalator, leukocytes and anti-microbial molecules (eg antibodies, complement and peptides) work together to protect the respiratory tract from pathogens and restrict commensal organisms to the upper respiratory tract.
  • Compromise of these defences provides the opportunity for pathogens to colonize the respiratory tract and for commensal organisms to extend deeper into the lower respiratory tract.
  • The greater the degree of compromise, the broader the range of potential pathogens that are able to successfully invade.
  • The most pathogenic organisms, often but not exclusively viruses, are usually referred to as primary pathogens and commonly initiate disease.
  • They can in themselves compromise respiratory tract defence mechanisms and open the door to secondary, usually bacterial, infections.
  • It is however not uncommon for some bacteria to act as primary pathogens in the absence of a viral infection, when respiratory tract defences are sufficiently compromized or when multiple bacterial species are able to work synergistically to cause disease.

The major BRD pathogens in the UK

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Approach to an outbreak

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Samples

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Differential diagnoses

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed Papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Sherwin V, Hudson C, Henderson A et al (2016) Measuring health and performance in preweaning dairy calves. In Practice 38, 113-122.

Organisation(s)

  • Edinburgh University.


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