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  • Author or Editor: Claudia Gentry-Weeks x
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Objective—To use real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technology to develop a highly sensitive and specific diagnostic assay for the detection of Salmonella spp in fecal specimens.

Sample Population—299 fecal specimens from cattle, horses, and dogs.

Procedure—Enrichment of fecal specimens was followed by genomic DNA extraction by use of commercially available isolation kits. Real-time PCR assay was performed to target a Salmonella spp-specific DNA segment. Results of real-time PCR assay were compared with bacterial culture results to determine relative sensitivity and specificity.

Results—Use of the spaQ primer-probe set resulted in a relative sensitivity of 100% and a specificity of 98.2%, compared with bacterial culture results when tested on 299 clinical fecal specimens.

Conclusion and Clinical Relevance—A rapid, sensitive, and specific assay for the detection of Salmonella spp from enriched clinical fecal specimens was developed. This technique would be highly valuable in clinical settings to help avoid or mitigate the complications arising from an outbreak of salmonellosis in a herd or among patients of a veterinary hospital. (Am J Vet Res 2002;63:1265–1268)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To evaluate factors potentially associated with fecal Salmonella shedding among equine patients hospitalized for colic at a veterinary teaching hospital and to determine the effects of probiotic treatment on fecal Salmonella shedding and clinical signs.

Design—Longitudinal study and controlled trial.

Animals—246 equine colic patients.

Procedure—History and medical information were obtained from patient records. Fecal and environmental samples were submitted for aerobic bacterial culture for Salmonella enterica. Fifty-one patients were treated with a commercially available probiotic; 46 were treated with a placebo. Logistic regression was used to evaluate data.

ResultsSalmonella organisms were detected in feces from 23 (9%) patients at least once during hospitalization. Patients were more likely to shed Salmonella organisms if diarrhea was evident ≤ 6 hours after hospitalization and duration of hospitalization exceeded 8 days (odds ratio [OR], 20.3), laminitis developed during hospitalization (OR, 12.0), results of nasogastric intubation were abnormal (OR, 4.9), leukopenia was evident ≤ 6 hours after hospitalization (OR, 4.6), or travel time to the teaching hospital exceeded 1 hour (OR, 3.5). Horses treated with the probiotic did not differ from control horses in regard to likelihood of fecal Salmonella shedding (OR, 1.5) or prevalence of clinical signs.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest that certain risk factors are associated with fecal shedding of S enterica among equine patients hospitalized at a veterinary teaching hospital because of colic and that pathogen monitoring in patients and the hospital environment and use of barrier nursing precautions for equine colic patients are beneficial. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2001;218:740–748)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association