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Five-site study demonstrates efficacy of Draxxin® for SRD

A five-site study of pigs with swine respiratory disease (SRD) demonstrates that one dose of Draxxin® (tulathromycin) not only lowers mortality, it can significantly improve treatment success and reduce total lung lesions.1

The study included 455 mixed-sex commercial feeder pigs at farms with a history of SRD. When 15% of pigs in a pen met the criteria for SRD, they were randomly assigned to receive either one 2.5 ml/kg bodyweight intramuscular dose of saline as a control or Draxxin, a rapidly absorbed antimicrobial that is extensively distributed in lung tissue and retained for a long duration,2 says Vitelio Utrera, DVM, PhD, swine respiratory disease specialist, Zoetis.

“To meet the criteria for SRD, pigs had respiratory and depression scores of ≥ 2 on a 0-to-3 scale and rectal temperatures of ≥ 104° F,” says Utrera, noting that pigs from the saline and Draxxin groups were commingled. Treatment was considered successful if, by study-day 7, the animal was alive, had respiratory and depression scores ≤ 1 and a rectal temperature < 104ºF (40ºC).


Investigators observed the pigs twice daily to monitor their general health and clinically evaluated them on study-day 7. Nearly 60% of pigs that received Draxxin were successfully treated compared to 41% in the saline group (Figure 1), and the results were significant (p≤ 0.05). Mortality was less in the Draxxin group (Figure 2). In addition, the percentage of total lungs with lesions was significantly lower in treated pigs — 6.6% compared to more than 13% in controls (p= 0.0096), he says.

ab Percentages with different superscripts differ significantly (p≤ 0.05)


Lung sampling of pigs that died before the study started and at the end of the study revealed multiple SRD pathogens. Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae was most often found, followed by Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae, Pasteurella multocida, Haemophilus parasuis and Bordetella bronchiseptica, Utrera says.

“The results demonstrate that Draxxin can help producers control respiratory disease and cut losses when SRD is already present in a herd,” he says.


Important Safety Information for Swine: Withdraw Draxxin/Draxxin 25 five (5) days prior to slaughter in swine. Do not use in animals known to be hypersensitive to the product.  Click here to see prescribing information for Draxxin.

All trademarks are the property of Zoetis Services LLC or a related company or a licensor unless otherwise noted.

1 Date on file, Study Report No. 1123C-60-07-279, Zoetis, LLC.
2 Benchaoui HA, et al. Pharmacokinetics and lung tissue concentrations of tulathromycin in swine. J Vet Pharmacol Ther. 2004;27:203-210.


Discoveries is a series of  research news reports written by the editors of Pig Health Today on behalf of the US Pork Business of Zoetis.

July 2018

Posted on January 14, 2019

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A recent study shows it’s feasible to obtain data on antimicrobial use while keeping information confidential, said Peter Davies, PhD, principal investigator and professor in the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Minnesota.

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