Objective—To evaluate the extent of environmental
contamination with Salmonella enterica in a veterinary
Samples—Environmental samples obtained from 69
representative locations within a veterinary teaching
hospital by use of a commercially available electrostatic
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)
Objective—To evaluate bacterial and protozoal contamination of commercially available raw meat diets for dogs.
Design—Prospective longitudinal study.
Sample Population—240 samples from 20 raw meat diets for dogs (containing beef, lamb, chicken, or turkey), 24 samples from 2 dry dog foods, and 24 samples from 2 canned dog foods.
Procedure—Each product was purchased commercially on 4 dates approximately 2 months apart. Three samples from each product at each sampling period were evaluated via bacterial culture for non–type-specific Escherichia coli (NTSEC), Salmonella enterica, and Campylobacter spp. Antimicrobial susceptibility testing was performed on selected isolates. Polymerase chain reaction assays were used to detect DNA from Cryptosporidium spp, Neospora spp, and Toxoplasma spp in samples obtained in the third and fourth sampling periods.
Results—One hundred fifty-three of 288 (53%) samples were contaminated with NTSEC. Both raw and prepared foods contained NTSEC during at least 1 culture period. Salmonella enterica was recovered from 17 (5.9%) samples, all of which were raw meat products. Campylobacter spp was not isolated from any samples. In 91 of 288 (31.6%) samples, there was no gram-negative bacterial growth before enrichment and in 48 of 288 (16.7%) samples, there was no aerobic bacterial growth before enrichment. Susceptibility phenotypes were variable. Cryptosporidium spp DNA was detected in 3 samples.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Bacterial contamination is common in commercially available raw meat diets, suggesting that there is a risk of foodborne illness in dogs fed these diets as well possible risk for humans associated with the dogs or their environments.
Objective—To evaluate antimicrobial susceptibility of commensal Escherichia coli strains isolated from the feces of horses and investigate relationships with hospitalization and antimicrobial drug (AMD) administration.
Animals—68 hospitalized horses that had been treated with AMDs for at least 3 days (HOSP–AMD group), 63 hospitalized horses that had not received AMDs for at least 4 days (HOSP–NOAMD group), and 85 healthy horses that had not been hospitalized or treated with AMDs (community group).
Procedures—Fecal samples were submitted for bacterial culture, and up to 3 E coli colonies were recovered from each sample. Antimicrobial susceptibility of 724 isolates was evaluated. Prevalence of resistance was compared among groups by use of log-linear modeling.
Results—For 12 of the 15 AMDs evaluated, prevalence of antimicrobial resistance differed significantly among groups, with prevalence being highest among isolates from the HOSP–AMD group and lowest among isolates from the community group. Isolates recovered from the HOSP–AMD and HOSP–NOAMD groups were also significantly more likely to be resistant to multiple AMDs. Resistance to sulfamethoxazole and resistance to trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole were most common, followed by resistance to gentamicin and resistance to tetracycline. Use of a potentiated sulfonamide, aminoglycosides, cephalosporins, or metronidazole was positively associated with resistance to 1 or more AMDs, but use of penicillins was not associated with increased risk of resistance to AMDs.
Conclusion and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest that both hospitalization and AMD administration were associated with prevalence of antimicrobial resistance among E coli strains isolated from the feces of horses.
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 investigate Salmonella enterica infections at a Greyhound breeding facility.
Animal and Sample Populations—138 adult and juvenile dogs and S enterica isolates recovered from the dogs and their environment.
Procedures—The investigation was conducted at the request of a Greyhound breeder. Observations regarding the environment and population of dogs were recorded. Fecal, food, and environmental specimens were collected and submitted for Salmonellaculture. Isolates were serotyped and tested for susceptibility to 16 antimicrobials. Isolates underwent genetic analyses by use of pulsed-field gel electrophoresis and ribotyping.
Results—S enterica was recovered from 88 of 133 (66%) samples of all types and from 57 of 61 (93%) fecal samples. Eighty-three (94.3%) of the isolates were serotype Newport, 77 (87.5%) of which had identical resistance phenotypes. Genetic evaluations suggested that several strains of S enterica existed at the facility, but there was a high degree of relatedness among many of the Newport isolates. Multiple strains of Salmonella enterica serotype Newport were recovered from raw meat fed on 1 day.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—S enterica infections and environmental contamination were common at this facility. A portion of the Salmonellastrains detected on the premises was likely introduced via raw meat that was the primary dietary constituent. Some strains appeared to be widely disseminated in the population. Feeding meat that had not been cooked properly, particularly meat classified as unfit for human consumption, likely contributed to the infections in these dogs.
Objective—To evaluate the effects of footwear hygiene protocols on bacterial contamination of floor surfaces in an equine hospital.
Procedures—Footwear hygiene protocols evaluated included use of rubber overboots with footbaths and footmats containing a quaternary ammonium disinfectant, rubber overboots with footbaths and footmats containing a peroxygen disinfectant, and no restrictions on footwear type but mandatory use of footbaths and footmats containing a peroxygen disinfectant. Nonspecific aerobic bacterial counts were determined via 2 procedures for sample collection and bacterial enumeration (contact plates vs swabbing combined with use of spread plates), and the effects of each footwear hygiene protocol were compared.
Results—There were no consistent findings suggesting that any of the protocols were associated with differences in numbers of bacteria recovered from floor surfaces. Although there were detectable differences in numbers of bacteria recovered in association with different footwear hygiene protocols, differences in least square mean bacterial counts did not appear to be clinically relevant (ie, were < 1 log10).
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Although cleaning and disinfection of footwear are important aids in reducing the risk of nosocomial transmission of infectious agents in veterinary hospitals, the numbers of aerobic bacteria recovered from floor surfaces were not affected by use of rubber overboots or the types of disinfectant used in this study. Further study is warranted to evaluate the usefulness of footwear hygiene practices relative to their efficacy for reducing transmission of specific pathogens or decreasing nosocomial disease risk.
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 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.
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
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)
Objective—To describe the frequency and distribution
of Escherichia coli O157:H7 in the feces and environment
of cow-calf herds housed on pasture.
Sample Population—Fecal and water samples for 10
cow-calf farms in Kansas.
Procedure—Fecal and water samples were obtained
monthly throughout a 1-year period (3,152 fecal samples
from 2,058 cattle; 199 water samples).
Escherichia coli O157:H7 in fecal and water samples
was determined, using microbial culture.
Results—Escherichia coli O157:H7 was detected in
40 of 3,152 (1.3%) fecal samples, and 40 of 2,058
(1.9%) cattle had ≥ 1 sample with E coli. Fecal shedding
by specific cattle was transient; none of the cattle
had E coli in more than 1 sample. Significant differences
were not detected in overall prevalence
among farms. However, significant differences were
detected in prevalence among sample collection
dates. Escherichia coli O157:H7 was detected in 3 of
199 (1.5%) water samples.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Implementing
control strategies for E coli O157:H7 at all
levels of the cattle industry will decrease the risk of
this organism entering the human food chain.
Devising effective on-farm strategies to control E coli
O157:H7 in cow-calf herds will require an understanding
of the epidemiologic characteristics of this
pathogen. (Am J Vet Res 2000;61:1375–1379)
Objective—To determine the percentage of broodmares
and foals that shed Clostridium perfringens in
their feces and classify the genotypes of those isolates.
Design—Prospective cross-sectional study.
Animals—128 broodmares and their foals on 6
Procedures—Anaerobic and aerobic bacteriologic
cultures were performed on feces collected 3 times
from broodmares and foals. All isolates of C perfringens
Results—Clostridium perfringens was isolated from
the feces of 90% of 3-day-old foals and 64% of foals
at 8 to 12 hours of age. A lower percentage of broodmares
and 1- to 2-month-old foals shed C perfringens
in their feces, compared with neonatal foals. Among
samples with positive results, C perfringens type A
was the most common genotype identified (85%); C
perfringens type A with the β2 toxin gene was identified
in 12% of samples, C perfringens type A with the
enterotoxin gene was identified in 2.1% of samples,
and C perfringens type C was identified in < 1% of
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Clostridium
perfringens was identified from the feces of all but 6
foals by 3 days of age and is likely part of the normal
microflora of neonatal foals. Most isolates from
broodmares and foals are C perfringens type A; thus,
the clinical relevance of culture results alone is questionable.
Clostridium perfringens type C, which has
been associated with neonatal enterocolitis, is rarely
found in the feces of horses. (J Am Vet Med Assoc