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Prevalence of Pasteurella multocida and other respiratory pathogens in the nasal tract of Scottish calves
  1. E. J. Hotchkiss, BVMS, PhD, MRCVS1,
  2. M. P. Dagleish, BVMS, PhD, MRCVS1,
  3. K. Willoughby, BVMS, PhD, MRCVS1,
  4. I. J. McKendrick, BSc, PhD2,
  5. J. Finlayson, HNC1,
  6. R. N. Zadoks, DVM, MSc, PhD1,
  7. E. Newsome, BSc1,
  8. F. Brulisauer, DrMedVet, DipECVPH, MRCVS3,
  9. G. J. Gunn, BVMS, MSc, MRCVS3 and
  10. J. C. Hodgson, BSc, PhD, MBA1
  1. Moredun Research Institute, Pentlands Science Park, Bush Loan, Penicuik, near Edinburgh EH26 0PZ
  2. Biomathematics and Statistics Scotland, Kings Buildings, Edinburgh EH9 3JZ
  3. Epidemiology Research Unit, Scottish Agricultural College, Drummond Hill, Stratherrick Road, Inverness IV2 4JZ
  1. Correspondence to J. C. Hodgson, e-mail: chris.hodgson{at}

The prevalence of Pasteurella multocida, a cause of bovine respiratory disease, was studied in a random sample of beef suckler and dairy farms throughout Scotland, by means of a cross-sectional survey. A total of 637 calves from 68 farms from six geographical regions of Scotland were sampled between February and June 2008. Deep nasal swabs were taken, and samples that were culture-positive for P multocida were confirmed by PCR. Prevalence of P multocida was 17 per cent (105 of 616 calves); 47 per cent of farms had at least one positive animal. A higher prevalence was detected in dairy calves than beef calves (P=0.04). It was found that P multocida was associated with Mycoplasma-like organisms (P=0.06) and bovine parainfluenza type 3 virus (BPI-3) (P=0.04), detected by culture and quantitative PCR of nasal swabs, respectively. Detection of P multocida was not associated with bovine respiratory syncytial virus (BRSV), bovine herpesvirus type 1 (BoHV-1) or bovine viral diarrhoea virus (BVDV). Mycoplasma-like organisms, BPI-3, BRSV, BoHV-1 and BVDV were detected in 58, 17, four, 0 and eight calves, on 25, five, two, 0 and five of the 68 farms, respectively.

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