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Environmental surveillance for Salmonella enterica in a veterinary teaching hospital

Brandy A. Burgess BS1, Paul S. Morley DVM, PhD, DACVIM2, and Doreene R. Hyatt PhD3
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  • 1 Animal Population Health Institute, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523-1681.
  • | 2 Animal Population Health Institute, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523-1681.
  • | 3 Animal Population Health Institute, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523-1681.

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate the extent of environmental contamination with Salmonella enterica in a veterinary teaching hospital.

Design—Longitudinal study.

Samples—Environmental samples obtained from 69 representative locations within a veterinary teaching hospital by use of a commercially available electrostatic wipe.

Procedure—Environmental samples were obtained for bacteriologic culture, and antimicrobial susceptibility testing was performed on each environmental isolate. Environmental isolates were compared with isolates obtained from animals during the same period to investigate potential sources of environmental contamination.

Results—54 S enterica isolates were recovered from 452 (11.9%) cultured environmental samples .Five different serotypes were recovered; the most common serotypes were S Newport and S Agona. Within the 5 serotypes recovered, 10 distinguishable phenotypes were identified by use of serotype and antimicrobial susceptibility patterns. Of the environmental isolates, 41 of 54 (75.9%) could be matched to phenotypes of isolates obtained from animal submissions in the month prior to collection of environmental samples.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results indicated that environments in veterinary hospitals can be frequently contaminated with S enterica near where infected animals are managed and fecal specimens containing S enterica are processed for culture in a diagnostic laboratory. Bacteriologic culture of environmental samples collected with electrostatic wipes is an effective means of detecting contamination in a veterinary hospital environment and may be beneficial as part of surveillance activities for other veterinary and animal-rearing facilities. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2004;225:1344–1348)

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate the extent of environmental contamination with Salmonella enterica in a veterinary teaching hospital.

Design—Longitudinal study.

Samples—Environmental samples obtained from 69 representative locations within a veterinary teaching hospital by use of a commercially available electrostatic wipe.

Procedure—Environmental samples were obtained for bacteriologic culture, and antimicrobial susceptibility testing was performed on each environmental isolate. Environmental isolates were compared with isolates obtained from animals during the same period to investigate potential sources of environmental contamination.

Results—54 S enterica isolates were recovered from 452 (11.9%) cultured environmental samples .Five different serotypes were recovered; the most common serotypes were S Newport and S Agona. Within the 5 serotypes recovered, 10 distinguishable phenotypes were identified by use of serotype and antimicrobial susceptibility patterns. Of the environmental isolates, 41 of 54 (75.9%) could be matched to phenotypes of isolates obtained from animal submissions in the month prior to collection of environmental samples.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results indicated that environments in veterinary hospitals can be frequently contaminated with S enterica near where infected animals are managed and fecal specimens containing S enterica are processed for culture in a diagnostic laboratory. Bacteriologic culture of environmental samples collected with electrostatic wipes is an effective means of detecting contamination in a veterinary hospital environment and may be beneficial as part of surveillance activities for other veterinary and animal-rearing facilities. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2004;225:1344–1348)