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  • Author or Editor: Bruce L. Akey x
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Objective—To describe antimicrobial susceptibility testing practices of veterinary diagnostic laboratories in the United States and evaluate the feasibility of collating this information for the purpose of monitoring antimicrobial resistance in bacterial isolates from animals.

Design—Cross-sectional study.

Procedures—A questionnaire was mailed to veterinary diagnostic laboratories throughout the United States to identify those laboratories that conduct susceptibility testing. Nonrespondent laboratories were followed up through telephone contact and additional mailings. Data were gathered regarding methods of susceptibility testing, standardization of methods, data management, and types of isolates tested.

Results—Eighty-six of 113 (76%) laboratories responded to the survey, and 64 of the 86 (74%) routinely performed susceptibility testing on bacterial isolates from animals. Thirty-four of the 36 (94%) laboratories accredited by the American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians responded to the survey. Laboratories reported testing > 160,000 bacterial isolates/y. Fifty-one (88%) laboratories reported using the Kirby-Bauer disk diffusion test to evaluate antimicrobial susceptibility; this accounted for 65% of the isolates tested. Most (87%) laboratories used the NCCLS (National Committee for Clinical Laboratory Standards) documents for test interpretation. Seventy-five percent of the laboratories performed susceptibility testing on bacterial isolates only when they were potential pathogens.

Conclusions—The veterinary diagnostic laboratories represent a comprehensive source of data that is not easily accessible in the United States. Variability in testing methods and data storage would present challenges for data aggregation, summary, and interpretation. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2003;222:168–173)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To identify risk factors associated with the spread of low pathogenicity H7N2 avian influenza (AI) virus among commercial poultry farms in western Virginia during an outbreak in 2002.

Design—Case-control study.

Procedure—Questionnaires were used to collect information about farm characteristics, biosecurity measures, and husbandry practices on 151 infected premises (128 turkey and 23 chicken farms) and 199 noninfected premises (167 turkey and 32 chicken farms).

Results—The most significant risk factor for AI infection was disposal of dead birds by rendering (odds ratio [OR], 7.3). In addition, age ≥ 10 weeks (OR for birds aged 10 to 19 weeks, 4.9; OR for birds aged ≥ 20 weeks, 4.3) was a significant risk factor regardless of poultry species involved. Other significant risk factors included use of nonfamily caretakers and the presence of mammalian wildlife on the farm. Factors that were not significantly associated with infection included use of various routine biosecurity measures, food and litter sources, types of domestic animals on the premises, and presence of wild birds on the premises.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest that an important factor contributing to rapid early spread of AI virus infection among commercial poultry farms during this outbreak was disposal of dead birds via rendering off-farm. Because of the highly infectious nature of AI virus and the devastating economic impact of outbreaks, poultry farmers should consider carcass disposal techniques that do not require offfarm movement, such as burial, composting, or incineration. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2005;226:767–772)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association