Merial announced Thursday the introduction of Zactran, a new antimicrobial for treatment and control of bovine respiratory disease in beef and dairy cattle. The new product, in the Macrolide class of antimicrobials, was designed specifically to combat BRD.

 In a news conference Thursday, Merial representatives said producers, with a prescription from a veterinarian, use Zactran to treat clinical cases of BRD and also to control potential outbreaks in high-risk cattle such as shipped calves arriving in feedlots or stocker operations.

Two key features of Zactran, according to Merial, include rapid response and long duration of efficacy. Concentrations of the drug in treated animals’ lungs begin within 30 minutes and reach maximum levels within 12 hours. Within 24 hours after treatment, 75 percent of treated animals show significant reductions in fever and depression, and show improvements in breathing. The product also offers 10 days of efficacy with a single dose.

Zactran is available in 100, 250 and 500 milliliter bottles. After the bottle’s seal is pierced, the product remains effective for 18 months, within the label’s expiration date. The product has a 35-day withdrawal time.

As for pricing, Merial representatives say they will announce specific pricing to veterinarians who will price it accordingly to their clients. The price will be competitive with other BRD antimicrobial products on the market, according to the company.