Submitted to: American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: July 24, 2002
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: The objective of the present study was to determine the prevalence of intestinal Campylobacter in lactating dairy cows from various regions of the United States. Fecal samples were collected from 720 cows on farms in the Northeast (4 farms), in the desert Southwest (3 farms), and in the Pacific West (2 farms). One farm in the Southwest was sampled 4 times. A minimum of 60 samples per sample period were collected from each farm. Fecal samples were collected rectally from each cow, were individually identified, placed into sterile plastic bags, and transported on ice to our laboratory within 24 h of collection. Samples were diluted 1:10 with phosphate buffered saline, streaked onto Campy-Cephex agar plates, and incubated at 42º C for 48 h using microaerophilic (5% O2, 10 % CO2, 85% N2) conditions. Colonies that had typical Campylobacter morphology and positive reactions for oxidase and catalase metabolism were serologically tested using a commercial latex-agglutination kit (IDX- jcl) for Campylobacter. Thirty-two bacteria tested positive by latex agglutination and were analyzed using the RiboPrinter® Microbial Characterization System (Qualicon) to obtain a ribosomal RNA pattern. Of the 32 bacteria, 24 were C. jejuni, 2 were C. coli, 4 were Campylobacter spp., and 2 were unknown, for a prevalence rate of 4.2%. The highest prevalence on any farm was 10%. The variation in prevalence did not appear to be affected by geographical location or sampling time or frequency. Under the conditions of this study, the authors conclude that Campylobacter prevalence in lactating dairy cows in the U.S. is low and that the predominant species is C. jejuni.