Tracking Antibiotic Resistance in Feedlot Pathogens

Project Title

Surveillance of Antimicrobial Use (AMU) and Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) in Canadian Feedlot Cattle; Continuation of Bovine Respiratory Disease Pathogen Isolation and Susceptibility Testing


Sheryl Gow (Public Health Agency of Canada, Western College of Veterinary Medicine)

Joyce VanDonkersgoed (veterinary consultant) Steve Hendrick (Coaldale Veterinary Clinic) Calvin Booker & Sherry Hannon (Feedlot Health Management Services) Greg Dimmers (Metzger Vet Clinic) Craig Dorin (Veterinary Agri-Health Services) Nathan Erickson (Western College of Veterinary Medicine) Wendy Wilkins (Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture)

Status Project Code
In progress. Results expected in January, 2026 SURV.02.20


The Public Health Agency of Canada’s (PHAC) Canadian Integrated Program for Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance (CIPARS) has conducted antibiotic resistance surveillance in cattle entering packing plants and retail beef since the mid 2000’s and began surveillance for antibiotic use and resistance in feedlot cattle in 2019. Because PHAC is focused on human health, it concentrates on antibiotic resistance in bacteria that are found in the intestinal tract of both livestock and humans (e.g. E. coliCampylobacterEnterococcus). But feedlots use antibiotics to combat pathogens like the respiratory bacteria involved in bovine respiratory disease (BRD). Understanding the prevalence of and trends in antibiotic resistance in BRD bacteria is critical to informing responsible antibiotic stewardship in feedlot animal health programs.


  • provide representative estimates of AMU and AMR in the Canadian finishing feedlot sector,
  • provide a unified approach to monitor trends in AMU and AMR over time,
  • periodically investigate associations between AMU and AMR on a targeted basis in relation to emerging AMR trends, and
  • provide collated industry data for the assessment of the potential public and animal health risks associated with AMU in the Canadian finishing feedlot sector.

What they will do

This team will collect deep nasopharyngeal samples from feeder cattle at feedlot entry and at re-handling. The samples will be cultured to identify Mannheima haemolytica, Pasteurella multocida, and Histophilus somni. The bacterial isolates that are recovered will be tested for antimicrobial sensitivity.


Potential antibiotic resistance trends in BRD pathogens will help refine antibiotic use recommendations and practices at the veterinary and feedlot level. In addition, consumer groups, foodservice companies and international trade partners are increasingly interested in antibiotic use practices in livestock production. Solid, internationally reputable data are needed to independently verify antibiotic use practices in Canadian beef production.