Rapid Communication: Subclinical bovine respiratory disease - loci and pathogens associated with lung lesions in feedlot cattle. Academic Article uri icon


  • Bovine respiratory disease (BRD) is an economically important disease of feedlot cattle that is caused by viral and bacterial pathogen members of the BRD complex. Many cases of subclinical BRD go untreated and are not detected until slaughter, when lung lesions are identified. The objectives of this study were to identify which BRD pathogens were associated with the presence of lung lesions at harvest and to identify genomic loci that were associated with susceptibility to lung lesions as defined by consolidation of the lung and/or the presence of fibrin tissue. Steers from a Colorado feedlot ( = 920) were tested for the presence of viral and bacterial pathogens using deep pharyngeal and mid-nasal swabs collected on entry into the study. Pathogen profiles were compared between cattle with or without lung consolidation (LC), fibrin tissue in the lung (FT), a combination of LC and FT in the same lung (lung lesions [LL]), and hyperinflated lungs (HIF) at harvest. Genotyping was conducted using the Illumina BovineHD BeadChip. Genomewide association analyses (GWAA) were conducted using EMMAX (efficient mixed-model association eXpedited), and pseudoheritabilities were estimated. The pathogen profile comparisons revealed that LC ( = 0.01, odds ratio [OR] = 3.37) and LL cattle ( = 0.04, OR = 4.58) were more likely to be infected with bovine herpes virus-1 and that HIF cattle were more likely to be infected with spp. ( = 0.04, OR = 4.33). Pseudoheritability estimates were 0.25 for LC, 0.00 for FT, 0.28 for LL, and 0.13 for HIF. Because pseudoheritability for FT was estimated to be 0, GWAA results for FT were not reported. There were 4 QTL that were moderately associated ( < 1 10) with only LC, 2 that were associated with only LL, and 1 that was associated with LC and LL. Loci associated with HIF included 12 that were moderately associated and 3 that were strongly associated (uncorrected P < 5 10-7). A 24-kb region surrounding significant lead SNP was investigated to identify positional candidate genes. Many positional candidate genes underlying or flanking the detected QTL have been associated with signal transduction, cell adhesion, or gap junctions, which have functional relevance to the maintenance of lung health. The identification of pathogens and QTL associated with the presence of lung abnormalities in cattle exhibiting subclinical BRD allows the identification of loci that may not be detected through manifestation of clinical disease alone.

published proceedings

  • J Anim Sci

altmetric score

  • 1.25

author list (cited authors)

  • Kiser, J. N., Lawrence, T. E., Neupane, M., Seabury, C. M., Taylor, J. F., Womack, J. E., & Neibergs, H. L.

citation count

  • 13

complete list of authors

  • Kiser, JN||Lawrence, TE||Neupane, M||Seabury, CM||Taylor, JF||Womack, JE||Neibergs, HL

publication date

  • June 2017