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Abstract

Objective—To characterize biosecurity and infection control practices at veterinary teaching hospitals located at institutions accredited by the AVMA.

Design—Cross-sectional survey.

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.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate the extent of environmental contamination with Salmonella enterica in a veterinary teaching hospital.

Design—Longitudinal study.

Samples—Environmental samples obtained from 69 representative locations within a veterinary teaching hospital by use of a commercially available electrostatic wipe.

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)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate various sampling strategies for potential use in measuring prevalence of antimicrobial susceptibility in cattle.

Sample Population—500 isolates of non–type-specific Escherichia coli (NTSEC) isolated from the feces of 50 cows from 2 dairy farms (25 cows/farm and 10 isolates/cow).

Procedures—Diameters of inhibition zones for 12 antimicrobials were analyzed to estimate variation among isolates, cows, and farms and then used to determine sampling distributions for a stochastic simulation model to evaluate 4 sampling strategies. These theoretic sampling strategies used a total of 100 isolates in 4 allocations (1 isolate from 100 cows, 2 isolates from 50 cows, 3 isolates from 33 cows, or 4 isolates from 25 cows).

Results—Analysis of variance composition revealed that 74.2% of variation was attributable to isolates, 18.5% to cows, and 7.3% to farms. Analysis of results of simulations suggested that when most of the variance was attributable to differences among isolates within a cow, culturing 1 isolate from each of 100 cows underestimated overall prevalence, compared with results for culturing more isolates per cow from fewer cows. When variance was not primarily attributable to differences among isolates, all 4 sampling strategies yielded similar results.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—It is not always possible to predict the hierarchical level at which clustering will have its greatest impact on observed susceptibility distributions. Results suggested that sampling strategies that use testing of 3 or 4 isolates/cow from a representative sample of all animals better characterize herd prevalence of antimicrobial resistance when impacted by clustering.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To assess perceptions of personnel working at a veterinary teaching hospital regarding risks of occupational hazards and compare those perceptions with assessments made by occupational safety experts.

Design—Cross-sectional study.

Study Population—A representative sample of personnel (n = 90) working at the veterinary teaching hospital at Colorado State University and a panel of 3 occupational safety experts.

Procedures—Hospital personnel ranked perceptions of 14 physical, chemical, and biological workplace hazards and listed the injuries, illnesses, and near misses they had experienced. The expert panel provided consensus rankings of the same 14 hazards for 9 sections of the facility. Risk perceptions provided by the 2 sources were compared.

Results—Risk perceptions did not differ significantly between hospital personnel and the expert panel for most of the site-specific comparisons (94/126 [75%]). Personnel perceived greater risks for some physical hazards (loud noises, sharps injuries, and ionizing radiation) and some chemical or materials exposures (insecticides or pesticides and tissue digester emissions). In contrast, the expert panel perceived greater risks for physical hazards (bite or crush and restraining and moving animals), chemical exposures (anesthetic waste gas), and biological exposures (Toxoplasma gondii, antimicrobial-resistant bacteria, and allergens).

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Participants and safety experts had similar perceptions about occupational risks, but there were important differences where hospital personnel apparently overestimated or underappreciated the risks for workplace hazards. This type of study may be useful in guiding development of optimal workplace safety programs for veterinary hospitals.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate efficacy of 2 disinfectants as used in footbaths in veterinary hospitals for reducing bacterial contamination of footwear.

Design—Prospective study.

Sample Population—Bacteria collected from the soles of rubber boots after experimental contamination and exposure to disinfectant solutions or control conditions.

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)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate the efficacy of furosemide for prevention of exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhage (EIPH) in Thoroughbred racehorses under typical racing conditions.

Design—Randomized, placebo-controlled, blinded, crossover field trial.

Animals—167 Thoroughbred racehorses.

Procedures—Horses were allocated to race fields of 9 to 16 horses each and raced twice, 1 week apart, with each of the 2 races consisting of the same race field and distance. Each horse received furosemide (500 mg, IV) before one race and a placebo (saline solution) before the other, with the order of treatments randomly determined. Severity of EIPH was scored on a scale from 0 to 4 after each race by means of tracheobronchoscopy. Data were analyzed by means of various methods of multivariable logistic regression.

Results—Horses were substantially more likely to develop EIPH (severity score ≥ 1; odds ratio, 3.3 to 4.4) or moderate to severe EIPH (severity score ≥ 2; odds ratio, 6.9 to 11.0) following administration of saline solution than following administration of furosemide. In addition, 81 of the 120 (67.5%) horses that had EIPH after administration of saline solution had a reduction in EIPH severity score of at least 1 when treated with furosemide.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results indicated that prerace administration of furosemide decreased the incidence and severity of EIPH in Thoroughbreds racing under typical conditions in South Africa.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

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.

Design—Case-control study.

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.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate trends in feedlot cattle mortality ratios over time, by primary body system affected, and by type of animal.

Design—Retrospective cohort study.

Animals—Approximately 21.8 million cattle entering 121 feedlots in the United States during 1994 through 1999.

Procedures—Yearly and monthly mortality ratios were calculated. Numbers of deaths were modeled by use of Poisson regression methods for repeated measures. Relative risks of death over time and by animal type were estimated.

Results—Averaged over time, the mortality ratio was 12.6 deaths/1,000 cattle entering the feedlots. The mortality ratio increased from 10.3 deaths/1,000 cattle in 1994 to 14.2 deaths/1,000 cattle in 1999, but this difference was not statistically significant (P = 0.09). Cattle entering the feedlots during 1999 had a significantly increased risk (relative risk, 1.46) of dying of respiratory tract disorders, compared with cattle that entered during 1994, and respiratory tract disorders accounted for 57.1% of all deaths. Dairy cattle had a significantly increased risk of death of any cause, compared with beef steers. Beef heifers had a significantly increased risk of dying of respiratory tract disorders, compared with beef steers.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggested that although overall yearly mortality ratio did not significantly increase during the study, the risk of death attributable to respiratory tract disorders was increased during most years, compared with risk of death during 1994. The increased rates of fatal respiratory tract disorders may also reflect increased rates of non-fatal respiratory tract disorders, which would be expected to have adverse production effects in surviving animals. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2001;219:1122–1127)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

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

Abstract

Objective—To identify factors associated with development of vesicular stomatitis (VS).

Design—Case-control study.

Sample Population—138 livestock premises and 118 horses suspected of having VS in Texas, New Mexico, and Colorado.

Procedures—Premises with ≥ 1 animal with clinical signs and laboratory confirmation of infection were classified as case premises. Premises where laboratory confirmation results were negative were control premises. Among equine premises, case and control horses were selected on the basis of premises status. A survey was conducted to identify factors associated with VS for premises and specific horses.

Results—Control of insect populations in the 2 weeks before the VS investigation decreased the odds of disease for premises where vegetation coverage was grassland or pasture (odds ratio [OR], 0.08; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.01 to 0.7). Odds of VS for premises covered with grassland or pasture increased when measures to control insect populations were not used (OR, 11; 95% CI, 0.8 to 156.3) and for premises that had a body of water (OR, 2.3; 95% CI, 1.0 to 5.6). Use of measures to prevent insect bites or harassment by insects (OR, 0.2; 95% CI, 0.1 to 0.8) and spending time in shelters (OR, 0.4; 95% CI, 0.2 to 1.1) in the 2 weeks prior to investigation decreased the odds of being a case horse.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Insect control and spending time in shelters decreased the odds for infection with VS. Premises covered with grassland or pasture or that had a body of water were at a higher risk.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association