Prevalence of Salmonella spp in selected birds captured on California dairies

John H. Kirk Veterinary Medicine Extension, School of Veterinary Medicine, Veterinary Medical Teaching and Research Center, University of California, Davis, CA 93274.

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Charles A. Holmberg Department of Population Health and Reproduction, School of Veterinary Medicine, Veterinary Medical Teaching and Research Center, University of California, Davis, CA 93274.

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Joan S. Jeffrey Veterinary Medicine Extension and the Department of Population Health and Reproduction, School of Veterinary Medicine, Veterinary Medical Teaching and Research Center, University of California, Davis, CA 93274.

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Abstract

Objective—To determine the prevalence of Salmonella spp in wild birds commonly found on California dairies.

Design—Prospective study.

Animals—7 selected species of birds were captured on 9 dairies in Kings and Tulare counties, California.

Procedure—Birds were captured (using traps and nets) and euthanatized, and the entire gastrointestinal tract was removed. Contents of the gastrointestinal tract were subjected to culture for Salmonella spp.

Results—892 birds were captured, and Salmonella spp were isolated from 22 birds. The prevalence by dairy ranged from 0.7 to 16.7%, whereas the prevalence by bird species ranged from 1.2 to 3.2%. Cowbirds and English sparrows had the highest prevalence of Salmonella organisms. Five serotypes of Salmonella organisms were isolated, including Meleagridis, Montevideo, Muenster, Typhimurium, and an untyped serotype.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—On the basis of our findings, birds that commonly inhabit California dairies harbor Salmonella organisms. However, because of the low prevalence of Salmonella organisms in birds and the Salmonella serotypes isolated, birds are not important reservoirs of Salmonella organisms on California dairies. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2002;220:359–362)

Abstract

Objective—To determine the prevalence of Salmonella spp in wild birds commonly found on California dairies.

Design—Prospective study.

Animals—7 selected species of birds were captured on 9 dairies in Kings and Tulare counties, California.

Procedure—Birds were captured (using traps and nets) and euthanatized, and the entire gastrointestinal tract was removed. Contents of the gastrointestinal tract were subjected to culture for Salmonella spp.

Results—892 birds were captured, and Salmonella spp were isolated from 22 birds. The prevalence by dairy ranged from 0.7 to 16.7%, whereas the prevalence by bird species ranged from 1.2 to 3.2%. Cowbirds and English sparrows had the highest prevalence of Salmonella organisms. Five serotypes of Salmonella organisms were isolated, including Meleagridis, Montevideo, Muenster, Typhimurium, and an untyped serotype.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—On the basis of our findings, birds that commonly inhabit California dairies harbor Salmonella organisms. However, because of the low prevalence of Salmonella organisms in birds and the Salmonella serotypes isolated, birds are not important reservoirs of Salmonella organisms on California dairies. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2002;220:359–362)

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