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Emergence of fatal Mannheimia haemolytica infections in cattle in the Netherlands

M.M. Biesheuvel, G. van Schaik, N.M. Meertens, N.H. Peperkamp, E. van Engelen, E. van Garderen
veterinary journal 2021 v.268 pp. 105576
Mannheimia haemolytica, Mycoplasma, cattle diseases, death, farms, monitoring, necropsy, odds ratio, pathogens, pleuropneumonia, regression analysis, veal, Netherlands
In the Dutch national surveillance system, outbreaks of fatal infections by Mannheimia haemolytica (M. haemolytica) in dairy cows and veal calves have become apparent in recent years. These observations prompted an in-depth analysis of available pathology data over the period 2004–2018 to investigate changes in the occurrence and/or expression of M. haemolytica-associated cattle disease. With multilevel logistic regression models, time trends were identified and corrected for farm, season, pathologist and region.Deaths associated with M. haemolytica infection increased over time with dairy cows and veal calves diagnosed with fatal M. haemolytica infections 1.5 and 1.4 times more frequently every following 3-year period between 2004 and 2018, respectively. M. haemolytica-associated disease showed two distinct disease presentations: acute pleuropneumonia in dairy cows and polyserositis in veal calves. The prevalence of both disease presentations with M. haemolytica confirmed increased in each 3-year time period between 2004 and 2018, with an odds ratio (OR) of 1.5 for acute pleuropneumonia in dairy cows and an OR of 1.7 for polyserositis in veal calves. No change was found for M. haemolytica-associated disease in dairy calves. Although M. haemolytica is considered an opportunist bovine pathogen, and the presence of primary pathogens such as BHV-1, BVDV and Mycoplasma species was not completely ruled out in our study, substantial evidence is provided to indicate infections with M. haemolytica were the most likely cause of death. M. haemolytica-associated diseases occurred more often in October–June than July–September, and were detected more often in necropsied animals from the North, South and East Netherlands than the West Netherlands.