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Stackyard News Dec 05

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No Resistance Is Main Pneumonia Antibiotic Prescription Criteria

When treating pneumonia, vets choose an antibiotic primarily on the basis of whether it has shown any resistance to the main bacteria that cause the disease.

limousin cattle

According to a Schering-Plough Animal Health survey of cattle vets attending the autumn British Cattle Veterinary Association (BCVA) Conference, practitioners rank an antibiotic's resistance profile as the most important selection criteria - low or no resistance against the key pneumonia bacteria being the most valued attribute - followed by tissue penetration and then speed of action.

In terms of bacterial pneumonia, P.multocida was the pathogen most often diagnosed by the vets surveyed, followed by M. haemolytica and then H.somni. With no vaccine against P. multocida and H. somni, practitioners and farmers have to rely on effective antibiotics to clear up pneumonia problems caused by these two bacteria.

Almost half the vets interviewed stated that florfenicol (Nuflor) was their favoured antibiotic for BRD cases; around one in four normally choose tilmicosin with only one in six generally opting for tulathromycin. The majority of respondents who use florfenicol do so because of its excellent resistance profile, broad-spectrum efficacy and speed of activity. Florfenicol was also rated ahead of other antibiotics for both overall treatment success and speed of recovery.

"Performance of antibiotics do vary and it is important under the 'Responsible Use of Medicines (RUMA)' guidelines to work with your vet to monitor the effectiveness of treatments," comments survey co-ordinator Stewart Hall from Schering-Plough.

"Efficacy feedback1 on Nuflor continues to be excellent, supported too by a recent EU study showing that 711 samples of the top three bacterial pneumonia causes continue to show no resistance to the antibiotic. Unfortunately, most of the other antibiotics tested in this study - such as tilmicosin and tulathromycin - did demonstrate resistance to key bacterial pneumonia bugs, suggesting in some instances they would be ineffective on farm. Consequently, make sure you discuss your current treatment protocol with your vet."

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