Antimicrobial drug use and risk factors associated with treatment incidence and mortality in Swiss veal calves reared under improved welfare conditions

Lava, Matteo; Schüpbach, Gertraud; Steiner, Adrian; Meylan, Mireille (2016). Antimicrobial drug use and risk factors associated with treatment incidence and mortality in Swiss veal calves reared under improved welfare conditions. Preventive veterinary medicine, 126, pp. 121-130. Elsevier 10.1016/j.prevetmed.2016.02.002

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Ninety-one Swiss veal farms producing under a label with improved welfare standards were visited between August and December 2014 to investigate risk factors related to antimicrobial drug use and mortality. All herds consisted of own and purchased calves, with a median of 77.4% of purchased calves. The calves' mean age was 29±15days at purchasing and the fattening period lasted at average 120±28 days. The mean carcass weight was 125±12kg. A mean of 58±33 calves were fattened per farm and year, and purchased calves were bought from a mean of 20±17 farms of origin. Antimicrobial drug treatment incidence was calculated with the defined daily dose methodology. The mean treatment incidence (TIADD) was 21±15 daily doses per calf and year. The mean mortality risk was 4.1%, calves died at a mean age of 94±50 days, and the main causes of death were bovine respiratory disease (BRD, 50%) and gastro-intestinal disease (33%). Two multivariable models were constructed, for antimicrobial drug treatment incidence (53 farms) and mortality (91 farms). No quarantine, shared air space for several groups of calves, and no clinical examination upon arrival at the farm were associated with increased antimicrobial treatment incidence. Maximum group size and weight differences >100kg within a group were associated with increased mortality risk, while vaccination and beef breed were associated with decreased mortality risk. The majority of antimicrobial treatments (84.6%) were given as group treatments with oral powder fed through an automatic milk feeding system. Combination products containing chlortetracycline with tylosin and sulfadimidine or with spiramycin were used for 54.9%, and amoxicillin for 43.7% of the oral group treatments. The main indication for individual treatment was BRD (73%). The mean age at the time of treatment was 51 days, corresponding to an estimated weight of 80-100kg. Individual treatments were mainly applied through injections (88.5%), and included administration of fluoroquinolones in 38.3%, penicillines (amoxicillin or benzylpenicillin) in 25.6%, macrolides in 13.1%, tetracyclines in 12.0%, 3th and 4th generation cephalosporines in 4.7%, and florfenicol in 3.9% of the cases. The present study allowed for identifying risk factors for increased antimicrobial drug treatment and mortality. This is an important basis for future studies aiming at reducing treatment incidence and mortality in veal farms. Our results indicate that improvement is needed in the selection of drugs for the treatment of veal calves according to the principles of prudent use of antibiotics.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

05 Veterinary Medicine > Research Foci > Veterinary Public Health / Herd Health Management
05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Clinical Veterinary Medicine (DKV)
05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Clinical Veterinary Medicine (DKV) > Clinic for Ruminants
05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Clinical Research and Veterinary Public Health (DCR-VPH) > Veterinary Public Health Institute
05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Clinical Research and Veterinary Public Health (DCR-VPH)

UniBE Contributor:

Lava, Matteo; Schüpbach, Gertraud; Steiner, Adrian and Meylan, Mireille

Subjects:

600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health
600 Technology > 630 Agriculture

ISSN:

0167-5877

Publisher:

Elsevier

Language:

English

Submitter:

Daniela Fasel

Date Deposited:

25 May 2016 15:45

Last Modified:

20 Sep 2017 20:00

Publisher DOI:

10.1016/j.prevetmed.2016.02.002

PubMed ID:

26897245

Uncontrolled Keywords:

Defined daily dose; Group treatment; Individual treatment; Quarantine; Treatment intensity; Vaccination

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.80404

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/80404

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