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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Fecal Shedding of Salmonella Spp by Horses in the United States During 1998 and 1999 and Detection of Salmonella Spp in Grain and Concentrate Sources on Equine Operations

Authors
item Traub-Dargatz, Josie - COLORADO STATE UNIVERSITY
item Garber, Lindsey - USDA-APHIS-VS-CEAH
item Cray, Paula
item Ladely, Scott
item Ferris, Kathy - USDA-APHIS-NVSL

Submitted to: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: April 15, 2000
Publication Date: July 15, 2000
Citation: Traub-Dargatz, J.L., Garber, L.P., Cray, P.J., Ladely, S.R., Ferris, K. 2000.Fecal shedding of salmonella spp by horses in the united states during 1998 and 1999 and detection of salmonella spp in grain and concentrate sources on equine operations. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association. 217 (2) P. 226-230.

Interpretive Summary: Salmonella is ubiquitous in nature and can cause gastroenteritis in man and animals. It can also be transferred from animals to man through contact with ill animals or the consumption of contaminated foodstuffs. Little is known about the prevalence of Salmonella shedding in horses. A cross-sectional prevalence survey was conducted on 972 horse operations in 28 states. A single fecal sample per horse was collected from horses resident at each operation based on the number of horses on the operation. Additionally, a single sample of grain or concentrate was also collected from each operation. All samples were cultured for Salmonella spp. Overall, 0.8% of resident horses shed Salmonella spp in their feces. The overall prevalence of operations positive for fecal shedding of Salmonella spp was 1.8%. Prevalence of grain or other concentrate samples positive for Salmonella spp was 0.4%. Serotypes of Salmonella spp that were identified in grain or other concentrate were not those typically associated with clinical disease in horses. These results suggest that the national prevalence of Salmonella spp shed by horses or found in horse foodstuffs in the US was low. These data are important for veterinarians as they manage and treat disease among horse populations.

Technical Abstract: The objective of the study was to estimate the prevalence of fecal shedding of Salmonella spp among horses in the US horse population and prevalence of Salmonella spp in grain or other concentrate used as horse feed on equine operations in the United States. A cross-sectional survey was conducted on 972 horse operations in 28 states. A single fecal sample per horse was collected from horses resident at each operation based on the number of horses on the operation. A single sample of grain or concentrate was also collected from each operation. All samples were cultured for Salmonella spp. Overall, 0.8% (SE, 0.5) of resident horses shed Salmonella spp in their feces. The overall prevalence of operations positive for fecal shedding of Salmonella spp was 1.8% (SE, 0.7). Prevalence of grain or other concentrate samples positive for Salmonella spp was 0.4%. Serotypes of Salmonella spp that were identified in grain or other concentrate were not those typically associated with clinical disease in horses. These results suggest that the national prevalence of fecal shedding of Salmonella spp by horses in the US was 0.8% and that the prevalence of Salmonella spp in grain or other concentrate used for horses was 0.4%.

Last Modified: 11/23/2014