Fecal shedding of Salmonella spp by horses in the United States during 1998 and 1999 and detection of Salmonella spp in grain and concentrate sources on equine operations

Josie L. Traub-Dargatz Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523.

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 DVM, MS, DACVIM
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Lindsey P. Garber USDA-APHIS-VS Centers for Epidemiology and Animal Health, 555 South Howes St, Fort Collins, CO 80521.

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 DVM, MS
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Paula J. Fedorka-Cray USDA Agricultural Research Service, Richard Russell Research Center, 950 College Station Rd, Athens, GA 30605-2720.

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Scott Ladely USDA Agricultural Research Service, Richard Russell Research Center, 950 College Station Rd, Athens, GA 30605-2720.

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Kathy E. Ferris National Veterinary Services Laboratories, PO Box 844, Ames, IA 50010.

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 MS

Abstract

Objective—To estimate prevalence of fecal shedding of Salmonella spp among horses in the US horse population and prevalence of Salmonella spp in grain or other concentrate used as horse feed on equine operations in the United States.

Design—Cross-sectional survey.

Sample Population—Horses on 972 operations in 28 states.

Procedure—Fecal samples were collected from horses resident at each operation. Only a single sample was collected from any individual horse; number of horses from which samples were collected on each operation was determined on the basis of number of horses on the operation. A single sample of grain or concentrate was also collected from each operation. All samples were tested for Salmonella spp by means of bacterial culture.

Results—Overall, 0.8% (SE, 0.5) of resident horses shed Salmonella spp in their feces. The overall prevalence of operations positive for fecal shedding of Salmonella spp (ie, operations with ≥ 1 horse shedding Salmonella spp in its feces) was 1.8% (SE, 0.7). Prevalence of grain or other concentrate samples positive for Salmonella spp was 0.4%. Serotypes of Salmonella spp that were identified in grain or other concentrate were not those typically associated with clinical disease in horses.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest that the national prevalence of fecal shedding of Salmonella spp by horses in the United States was 0.8%, and that prevalence of Salmonella spp in grain or other concentrate used for horse feed was 0.4%.(J Am Vet Med Assoc 2000;217:226–230)

Abstract

Objective—To estimate prevalence of fecal shedding of Salmonella spp among horses in the US horse population and prevalence of Salmonella spp in grain or other concentrate used as horse feed on equine operations in the United States.

Design—Cross-sectional survey.

Sample Population—Horses on 972 operations in 28 states.

Procedure—Fecal samples were collected from horses resident at each operation. Only a single sample was collected from any individual horse; number of horses from which samples were collected on each operation was determined on the basis of number of horses on the operation. A single sample of grain or concentrate was also collected from each operation. All samples were tested for Salmonella spp by means of bacterial culture.

Results—Overall, 0.8% (SE, 0.5) of resident horses shed Salmonella spp in their feces. The overall prevalence of operations positive for fecal shedding of Salmonella spp (ie, operations with ≥ 1 horse shedding Salmonella spp in its feces) was 1.8% (SE, 0.7). Prevalence of grain or other concentrate samples positive for Salmonella spp was 0.4%. Serotypes of Salmonella spp that were identified in grain or other concentrate were not those typically associated with clinical disease in horses.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest that the national prevalence of fecal shedding of Salmonella spp by horses in the United States was 0.8%, and that prevalence of Salmonella spp in grain or other concentrate used for horse feed was 0.4%.(J Am Vet Med Assoc 2000;217:226–230)

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