Fecal prevalence and diversity of Salmonella species in lactating dairy cattle in four states

T. R. Callaway, J. E. Keen, T. S. Edrington, L. H. Baumgard, L. Spicer, E. S. Fonda, K. E. Griswold, T. R. Overton, M. E. VanAmburgh, R. C. Anderson, K. J. Genovese, T. L. Poole, R. B. Harvey, D. J. Nisbet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations


Salmonella is one of the most serious foodborne pathogenic bacteria in the United States, causing an estimated 1.3 million human illnesses each year. Dairy cows can be reservoirs of foodborne pathogenic bacteria, including Salmonella spp.; it is estimated that from 27 to 31% of dairy herds across the United States are colonized by Salmonella. The present study was designed to examine the occurrence of Salmonella spp. on dairies and to examine the serotypic diversity of Salmonella isolates on sampled dairies from across the United States. Fecal samples (n = 60 per dairy) were collected from 4 dairies in each of 4 states for a total of 960 fecal samples representing a total population of 13,200 dairy cattle. In the present study, 93 of 960 samples (9.96%) collected were culture-positive for Salmonella enterica. At least one Salmonella fecal-shed-ding cow was found in 9 of the 16 herds (56%) and the within-herd prevalence varied in our study from 0% in 7 herds to a maximum of 37% in 2 herds, with a mean prevalence among Salmonella-positive herds of 17%. Seventeen different serotypes were isolated, representing 7 different Salmonella serogroups. There were 2 or more different serogroups and serotypes present on 7 of the 9 Salmonella-positive farms. Serotypes Montevideo and Muenster were the most frequent and widespread. From our data, it appears that subclinical colonization with Salmonella enterica is relatively common on dairy farms and is represented by diverse serotypes on US dairy farms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3603-3608
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Dairy Science
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2005


  • Fecal prevalence
  • Food safety
  • Salmonella

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Genetics

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