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  • Author or Editor: Martin Wiedmann x
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Objective—To determine whether specific strains of Listeria monocytogenes, as determined by genetic characteristics and virulence phenotypes, were associated with distinct clinical manifestations of listeriosis in cattle and thus may potentially have tissue specificity.

Animals—32 cattle.

Procedure—DNA sequence data for the virulence genes actAand inlAwere used to infer the phylogeny of L monocytogenes and to test for positive selection. Isolates were screened for the presence or absence of internalin genes and assigned an internalin profile. Plaquing assays were performed to determine the relative cytopathogenicity of each isolate. Categorical data analyses were performed to describe associations among L monocytogenes genotypes, virulence phenotypes, and clinical manifestations of listeriosis.

Results—Results confirmed that L monocytogenes represents 2 deeply separated evolutionary lineages. Genes actA and inlA contained amino acid sites under positive selection, and specific residues at some sites were associated with lineage and manifestation of listeriosis. Whereas lineage I was clonal and predominantly composed of isolates from cases of encephalitis, lineage II was more genetically diverse and equally represented by isolates from cases of encephalitis versus septicemia and fetal infection. Lineage I isolates also had greater cytopathogenicity in vitro, compared with lineage II isolates.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results indicated that L monocytogenes virulence genes underwent positive selection that is consistent with the diversification of 2 evolutionary lineages: lineage I is clonal and associated with encephalitis, and lineage II is more genetically diverse and equally likely to cause both major forms of listeriosis in cattle.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To assess seasonal variation in prevalence of Listeria monocytogeneson ruminant farms and identify management practices associated with ruminant listeriosis and fecal shedding of L monocytogenes.

Study Design—Case-control study.

Sample Population—2,056 samples of feces, feed, soil, and water from 24 case farms with listeriosis and 28 control farms without listeriosis.

Procedure—Samples were collected and evaluated via bacterial culture for L monocytogenes. Univariate associations between farm management practices and listeriosis and fecal shedding of L monocytogenes were assessed. Multivariate models were developed to identify farm management practices associated with listeriosis and fecal shedding of L monocytogenes.

Results—The prevalence of L monocytogeneson cattle, goat, and sheep farms was seasonal, especially in fecal samples, with peak prevalence in winter. Although the prevalence of L monocytogenes in feedstuffs from small-ruminant farms also peaked during winter, the bacterium was detected at a constant rate in cattle farm feedstuffs throughout the year. Farm management practices, animal health and hygiene, and feedstuff quality and storage were associated with ruminant listeriosis and fecal shedding of L monocytogenes.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest that the prevalence of L monocytogenes on ruminant farms is seasonal, management practices are associated with ruminant listeriosis and fecal shedding of L monocytogenes, and the epidemiologic features of listeriosis differ in cattle versus small ruminants. Awareness of risk factors may be used to develop control measures to reduce animal disease and introduction of L monocytogenes into the human food chain. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2005;227:1808–1814)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To determine the duration of fecal shedding of and serologic response to Salmonella spp after natural infection in dairy calves and characterize Salmonella organisms recovered from these herds.

Design—Longitudinal study.

Animals—Calves from 2 dairy herds (A and B) in the northeast United States that were identified at the beginning of a Salmonella outbreak.

Procedures—Fecal samples were collected twice per week (herd A) or once per week (herd B); blood samples were collected for serologic testing once per week in both herds. Bacteriologic culture of fecal samples was performed, and Salmonella isolates were characterized by serotype, pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) pattern, and antimicrobial resistance profile.

Results—All Salmonella isolates from herd A were serovar Typhimurium var Copenhagen, had the same PFGE pattern, and were resistant to at least 9 antimicrobials. All isolates from herd B were Salmonella Typhimurium, represented 2 PFGE patterns, and were susceptible to all antimicrobials evaluated. The estimated duration of fecal shedding was 14 days in herd A and 9 days in herd B. Few calves were seropositive for antibody against Salmonella lipopolysaccharide within the first week after birth (0 of 20 in herd A and 13 of 79 in herd B) or seroconverted (6 in herd A and 4 in herd B). Fecal shedding was more common in calves that seroconverted, but overall, there was not a strong association between seropositivity and fecal shedding of Salmonella organisms.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Although the herds differed in serologic response and Salmonella subtype, the duration of fecal shedding among calves was similar between herds.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association