Evolution of BRD metaphylaxis to optimize cost and judicious use practices

  • Jason Nickell Merck Animal Health, De Soto, KS 66018
Keywords: bovine respiratory disease complex, metaphylaxis, prediction


Conventional metaphylactic antimicrobial regimens are ap­plied to populations perceived at elevated risk of developing bovine respiratory disease (BRD). Whisper On Arrival® (WOA) was developed as a chute side tool to individually predict BRD risk for subsequent metaphylaxis decisions. The technology utilizes up to 4 data points to calculate prediction estimates: heart sound, lung sound, body weight and rectal temperature. A multi-site randomized clinical trial consisting of auction mar­ket-derived beef calves assessed the WOA technology against a traditional metaphylaxis program. Calves were followed to either a short-term endpoint (50 or 60 days) or closeout. Across all sites, pens allocated to WOA observed a reduction in metaphylactic antimicrobial use by 10% to 43%. Additionally, no significant differences (P ≤ 0.05) in health or performance outcomes were observed compared to the traditional metaphy­laxis program.

Beef Sessions