Bacterial Flora of Liver Abscesses in Feedlot Cattle Fed Tylosin or No Tylosin

J Anim Sci. 1999 Apr;77(4):973-8. doi: 10.2527/1999.774973x.


Bacterial flora of liver abscesses from cattle fed tylosin or no tylosin and susceptibilities of the predominant bacterial isolates to tylosin and other antimicrobial compounds were determined. Abscessed livers were collected at slaughter from cattle originating from feedlots that had fed tylosin (n = 36) or no tylosin (n = 41) for at least 2 yr, and segments of livers with one or two intact abscesses were transported to the laboratory. Abscesses were cultured for anaerobic and facultative bacteria. Fusobacterium necrophorum, either as single culture or mixed with other bacteria, was isolated from all abscesses. The incidence of subsp. necrophorum, as part of the mixed infection, was lower (P < .05) in the tylosin group than in the no-tylosin group (33 vs 61%). However, the incidence of Actinomyces pyogenes was higher (P < .01) in the tylosin group than in the no-tylosin group (53 vs 10%). Totals of 119 F. necrophorum and 21 A. pyogenes isolates were used for determinations of susceptibilities to bacitracin, oxytetracycline, chlortetracycline, lasalocid, monensin, tylosin, tilmicosin, and virginiamycin. The minimum inhibitory concentrations (MIC) of antibiotics were determined with a broth microdilution method. The mean MIC of tylosin for F. necrophorum and A. pyogenes were not different between isolates from tylosin and no-tylosin groups. We concluded that continuous feeding of tylosin did not induce resistance in F. necrophorum or A. pyogenes. Also, the higher incidence of mixed infection of F. necrophorum and A. pyogenes in liver abscesses of tylosin-fed cattle suggests a potential synergistic interaction between the two organisms in causing liver abscesses.

MeSH terms

  • Actinomyces / isolation & purification
  • Animals
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Cattle
  • Cattle Diseases / drug therapy
  • Cattle Diseases / microbiology*
  • Fusobacterium necrophorum / isolation & purification*
  • Liver Abscess / drug therapy
  • Liver Abscess / microbiology
  • Liver Abscess / veterinary*
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Tylosin / therapeutic use*


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Tylosin