Comparison of genotypic and phenotypic characterization methods for Pasteurella multocida isolates from fatal cases of bovine respiratory disease

Jared D. Taylor, Robert W. Fulton, S. Mady Dabo, Terry W Lehenbauer, Anthony W. Confer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Bovine respiratory disease (BRD) is the most costly disease of beef cattle in North America. Because Pasteurella multocida is a commensal of the upper respiratory tract, it is generally considered an opportunistic pathogen. However, studies in swine indicated that there may be a limited number of strains associated with disease, suggesting that some are more virulent than others. Although this may also be true of isolates from cattle, appropriate typing methods must be established before this possibility can be investigated. The purpose of this study was to compare effectiveness of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) fingerprinting to more traditional approaches for typing bovine P. multocida isolates. Isolates were obtained from 41 cases of fatal BRD and subjected to random amplified polymorphic DNA PCR (RAPD-PCR), whole cell protein (WCP) profiles, outer membrane protein (OMP) profiles, and serotyping. The discrimination index was calculated for each typing method and combinations of each using Simpson's index of diversity. Correlation coefficients were calculated to assess concordance between classification results achieved through genotypic (RAPD-PCR) and phenotypic (WCP, OMP, and serotyping) approaches. All characterization methods were capable of discriminating between isolates. However, there was poor concordance between techniques. There were also few significant associations between typing results and epidemiologic data. Random amplified polymorphic DNA PCR was validated as being a repeatable and reliable means of discriminating between P. multocida isolates obtained from cattle. Isolates obtained from fatal cases of BRD in calves in a commercial feedlot demonstrated significant diversity, justifying additional investigation into whether P. multocida is a strictly opportunistic pathogen in cattle.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)366-375
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Veterinary Diagnostic Investigation
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Bovine respiratory disease
  • Pasteurella multocida
  • Polymorphic DNA polymerase chain reaction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)


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