Objective—To characterize biosecurity and infection control practices at veterinary teaching hospitals located at institutions accredited by the AVMA.
Population—50 biosecurity experts at 38 veterinary teaching hospitals.
Procedures—Telephone interviews were conducted between July 2006 and July 2007, and questions were asked regarding policies for hygiene, surveillance, patient contact, education, and awareness. Respondents were also asked their opinion regarding the rigor of their programs.
Results—31 of 38 (82%) hospitals reported outbreaks of nosocomial infection during the 5 years prior to the interview, 17 (45%) reported > 1 outbreak, 22 (58%) had restricted patient admissions to aid mitigation, and 12 (32%) had completely closed sections of the facility to control disease spread. Nineteen (50%) hospitals reported that zoonotic infections had occurred during the 2 years prior to the interview. Only 16 (42%) hospitals required personnel to complete a biosecurity training program, but 20 of the 50 (40%) respondents indicated that they believed their hospitals ranked among the top 10% in regard to rigor of infection control efforts.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggested that differences existed among infection control programs at these institutions. Perceptions of experts regarding program rigor appeared to be skewed, possibly because of a lack of published data characterizing programs at other institutions. Results may provide a stimulus for hospital administrators to better optimize biosecurity and infection control programs at their hospitals and thereby optimize patient care.
Objective—To evaluate the potential association between Salmonella enterica shedding in hospitalized horses and the risk of diarrhea among stablemates, and to characterize gastrointestinal-related illness and death following discharge among horses that shed S enterica while hospitalized.
Animals—221 horses (59 that shed S enterica during hospitalization and 162 that tested negative for S enterica shedding ≥ 3 times during hospitalization).
Procedures—Information from medical records (signalment, results of microbial culture of fecal samples, clinical status at the time of culture, and treatment history) was combined with data collected through interviews with horse owners regarding formerly hospitalized horses and their stablemates. Data were analyzed to investigate risk factors for death and diarrhea.
Results—Occurrence of diarrhea among stablemates of formerly hospitalized horses was not associated with S enterica shedding in hospitalized horses but was associated with oral treatment with antimicrobials during hospitalization. Salmonella enterica shedding during hospitalization was not associated with risk of death or gastrointestinal-related illness in study horses ≤ 6 months after discharge, but shedding status and history of gastrointestinal illness were associated with increased risk of death during the preinterview period.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Stablemates of horses that shed S enterica during hospitalization did not appear to have an increased risk for diarrhea, but comingling with horses that receive orally administered antimicrobials may affect this risk. Salmonella enterica shedding during hospitalization may be a marker of increased long-term risk of death after discharge. Risks are likely influenced by the S enterica strain involved and biosecurity procedures used.
Objective—To evaluate efficacy of 2 disinfectants as
used in footbaths in veterinary hospitals for reducing
bacterial contamination of footwear.
Sample Population—Bacteria collected from the
soles of rubber boots after experimental contamination
and exposure to disinfectant solutions or control
Procedures—Investigators contaminated boots by
walking through soiled straw animal bedding. Swab
samples were collected from the sole of 1 boot (right
or left) without treatment. The other boot was briefly
immersed in a disinfectant solution (either a quaternary
ammonium compound [QAC] or a peroxygen
compound) or water, and samples were collected
after 7 minutes. Differences associated with the
experimental treatments were analyzed statistically.
Veterinary teaching hospitals (VTHs) in the United
States and Canada were contacted to obtain information
about the use of footbaths.
Results—Mean bacterial concentrations from peroxygen-treated boots were 67% to 78% lower, compared
with samples taken from untreated boots. In
contrast, there were no statistically detectable differences
in mean bacterial concentrations in samples
taken from QAC- or water-treated boots, compared
with control boots. Disinfectant footbaths were
reportedly used in 30 of 31 VTHs.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Disinfectant
solution containing peroxygen applied in a footbath
reduced bacterial concentrations on rubber boots
under conditions representative of those found in
VTHs. Footbaths are commonly used as a method to
control infectious diseases in veterinary hospitals.
Disinfectant footbaths should not be expected to sterilize
footwear, but they may help in reducing the risk for
nosocomial infection when used with effective disinfectants.
(J Am Vet Med Assoc 2005;226:2053–2058)
Objective—To develop a syndromic surveillance system based on visual inspection from outside the livestock pens that could be used for detection of disease among livestock entering an auction market.
Animals—All livestock (beef and dairy cattle, sheep, goats, horses, and pigs) entering a single auction market in Colorado during 30 business days.
Procedures—Livestock were enumerated and visually inspected for clinical signs of disease by a veterinarian outside the pens, and clinical signs that were observed were categorized into 12 disease syndromes. Frequency of clinical signs and disease syndromes was then calculated.
Results—Data were recorded for a total of 29,371 animal observation days. For all species combined, the most common disease syndrome was respiratory tract disease (218.9 observations/10,000 animal observation days), followed by thin body condition and abnormal ambulation or posture (80.7 and 27.2 observations/10,000 animal observation days, respectively). Together, these 3 disease syndromes accounted for 92.8% of all clinical signs of disease observed. The syndromes least commonly identified were non–injury-related hemorrhage, death, and injury-related hemorrhage (0.0, 0.3, and 0.7 observations/10,000 animal observation days, respectively).
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggested that a syndromic surveillance system based on visual inspection alone could be developed to identify possible disease conditions among livestock at an auction market. Further studies are needed to determine the sensitivity and specificity of visual observation in detecting disease.
Objective—To compare the efficacy of a peroxygenbased disinfectant used in footbaths with the efficacy of the same disinfectant used in footmats for reducing bacterial contamination of footwear in a large animal hospital.
Sample Population—Bacteria recovered from the soles of rubber boots after experimental microbial contamination and exposure to disinfectant solutions or water (water-treated control boots) or no treatment (untreated control boots).
Procedures—Investigators contaminated boots by walking through soiled animal bedding. Swab samples were collected from the sole of 1 untreated boot (right or left); the other boot was treated as investigators stepped through a disinfectant-filled footbath, a disinfectant-filled footmat, or water-filled footmat. Samples were collected 10 minutes after each treatment. Differences in numbers of bacteria recovered from treated and untreated boots were analyzed.
Results—Mean bacterial counts from peroxygentreated boots were 1.3 to 1.4 log10 lower (95.4% to 99.8%) than the counts from untreated boots. Results were similar for footmat- and footbath-treated boots. In contrast, there were no statistically detectable differences in mean bacterial counts in samples collected from water-treated or untreated boots.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest that footmats and footbaths containing peroxygenbased disinfectant are effective in reducing bacterial contamination on the soles of boots when used in conditions representative of large animal hospitals. Similar results were achieved with use of either footmats or footbaths. The use of footbaths and footmats containing effective disinfectants may help decrease the risk for spread of nosocomial infection but should not be expected to sterilize footwear.
Objective—To compare the frequency of isolation,
genotypes, and in vivo production of major lethal toxins
of Clostridium perfringens in adult dairy cows
affected with hemorrhagic bowel syndrome (HBS)
versus left-displaced abomasum (LDA).
Animals—10 adult dairy cattle with HBS (cases) and
10 adult dairy cattle with LDA matched with cases by
herd of origin (controls).
Procedure—Samples of gastrointestinal contents
were obtained from multiple sites during surgery or
necropsy examination. Each sample underwent testing
for anaerobic bacteria by use of 3 culture methods.
The genotype of isolates of C perfringens was
determined via multiplex polymerase chain reaction
assay. Major lethal toxins were detected by use of an
ELISA. Data were analyzed with multivariable logistic
regression and X2 analysis.
Results—C perfringens type A and type A with the
beta2 gene (A + beta2) were the only genotypes isolated.
Isolation of C perfringens type A and type A +
beta2 was 6.56 and 3.3 times as likely, respectively,
to occur in samples from cattle with HBS than in cattle
with LDA. Alpha toxin was detected in 7 of 36
samples from cases and in 0 of 32 samples from controls.
Beta2 toxin was detected in 9 of 36 samples
from cases and 0 of 36 samples from controls.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—C perfringens
type A and type A + beta2 can be isolated from the gastrointestinal
tract with significantly greater odds in cattle
with HBS than in herdmates with LDA. Alpha and beta2
toxins were detected in samples from cows with HBS
but not from cows with LDA. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2005;227:132–138)
Objective—To identify factors associated with use of a veterinarian by small-scale food animal operations.
Design—Cross-sectional descriptive survey.
Sample—16,000 small-scale farm or ranch operations in all 50 states.
Procedures—Surveys were conducted via mail or telephone during 2011 for small-scale operations (gross annual agricultural sales between $10,000 and $499,999) in which an animal or animal product comprised the highest percentage of annual sales.
Results—8,186 (51.2%) operations responded to the survey; 7,849 surveys met the inclusion criteria. For 6,511 (83.0%) operations, beef cattle were the primary animal species. An estimated 82.1% of operations (95% confidence interval [CI], 81.1% to 83.0%) had a veterinarian available ≤ 29 miles away; 1.4% (95% CI, 1.2% to 1.7%) did not have a veterinarian available within 100 miles of the operation. Operations for which the nearest veterinarian was ≥ 100 miles away or for which a veterinarian was not available were located in 40 US states. Overall, 61.7% of operations (95% CI, 60.6% to 62.9%) had used a veterinarian during the 12 months prior to the survey. Producers with college degrees were significantly more likely to use a veterinarian (675%) versus those who did not complete high school (52.9%).
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results of this study indicated most small-scale operations had adequate access to veterinarians during 2011, but there seemed to be localized shortages of veterinarians in many states.