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)
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
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.
Results—Salmonella 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)