Dr. Jason Nickell, an AABP member employed by Merck Animal Health, joins AABP Executive Director Dr. Fred Gingrich to discuss research on utilizing technology to target antimicrobial therapy to cattle as they arrive at the feedyard. We discuss that metaphylaxis using antimicrobials is an important tool to control bovine respiratory disease (BRD). Producers and veterinarians use risk factors to identify which group of animals to use metaphylactic treatment to decrease the morbidity and mortality of BRD. Studies have shown that, on average, approximately 20% of animals benefit from antimicrobial metaphylaxis. The ability to identify the animals at risk for BRD and targeting treatment to those animals could improve antimicrobial stewardship, however, not treating any animals at risk for BRD has negative economic and animal welfare implications.
The objective of the study we discuss was to compare Whisper on Arrival ® to a positive and negative control. The four treatment groups were positive control (all animals received an antimicrobial on arrival), Whisper High, Whisper Low, and a negative control (no animals received an antimicrobial on arrival). The two Whisper groups applied a different sensitivity and specificity to the algorithm to identify which animals to treat or not treat. The study found that health and performance outcomes for the positive control were better than the negative control and the Whisper on Arrival groups had no differences in health or performance compared to the negative control group. In addition, the Whisper on Arrival groups saw a 10-43% reduction in antimicrobial use while not adversely affecting health and performance.
Translational Animal Science, Volume 5, Issue 2, April 2021, txab081, https://doi-org.eres.qnl.qa/10.1093/tas/txab081