Current Projects

Antimicrobial Use, Resistance and Alternatives

20-04 Development of multiplex recombinase polymerase amplification (RPA) assays for the detection of antimicrobial-resistant bacterial pathogens causing bovine respiratory disease (BRD)

Research Lead: Dr. Cheryl Waldner , Western College of Veterinary Medicine

Executive Summary

This proposal addresses the priority of "Antimicrobial Use, Resistance and Alternatives" and will focus on the continued surveillance of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) of bovine respiratory disease (BRD) pathogens in feedlot cattle. BRD is a multifactorial disease syndrome that is the primary cause of illness and death in feedlot cattle across Canada, and the most common therapeutic indication for the use of injectable medically important antimicrobials.

Unfortunately, bacteria are increasingly able to resist the antimicrobial agents used to treat BRD, partly due to the presence of integrative conjugative elements (ICEs), a type of mobile (i.e. transferrable) genetic element (MGE) that can harbour groups of resistance genes. Coupled with the worldwide pressure to minimize antimicrobial use (AMU) in livestock, beef producers need rapid, accurate diagnostic tools to help direct drug selection and reduce the cost of ineffective AMU in cases where bacteria are resistant. Recombinase polymerase amplification (RPA) is a sensitive, affordable DNA-based detection system that requires minimal sample preparation and very little specialized equipment, making it an attractive alternative to PCR.

This project will build on the work of the McAllister lab (AAFC Lethbridge), focussing on the design of RPA assays by identifying specific, antimicrobial-resistant Histophilus somni and Pasteurella multocida isolates in samples from feedlot calves. The validation of RPA tests targeting resistant bacteria most important to BRD would provide veterinarians and producers with crucial information to guide therapy and optimize the use of antimicrobial drugs that are important for animal and human health.

Specific Project Area: Animal Health and Welfare, Antimicrobial use, resistance and alternatives

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