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Prev Vet Med. 2001 May 1;49(3-4):259-75.

Risk factors for clinical salmonellosis in Virginia, USA cattle herds.

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Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine, Blacksburg, VA, USA.


Veterinarians working in several Virginia, USA counties noticed an increase in clinical salmonellosis in cattle herds during 1994. We conducted a case-control study to identify potential risk factors for salmonellosis in cattle herds in this region. The potential impact of exposure to poultry-related factors was of particular interest because of the close proximity of poultry and cattle operations in this part of the state. Information was collected from 23 case farms and 23 control farms matched by herd veterinarian, type of enterprise (beef vs. dairy), and location. Faecal and environmental samples were collected during herd visits for bacteriologic culture. Salmonella was isolated from 4.7% of 531 faecal, feed, water, and environmental samples collected. Salmonella Typhimurium was the serotype found most frequently in clinical cases in participating herds and from samples collected during study visits. Case herds had a higher percentage of study samples positive for Salmonella. Potential risk factors were screened using methods for pair-matched data and then analyzed in individual conditional logistic-regression models to estimate odds ratios with 95% profile likelihood confidence intervals. Significant factors included: the number of mature cows in the herd (OR=1.01; CI 1.00, 1.03), percent change in the number of mature cows during 1994 (OR=0.68; CI 0.11, 0.96), having calves usually born in a building rather than outdoors (OR=0.17; CI 0.01, 0.98), poultry manure spread on bordering property (OR=4.00; CI 1.00, 26.50), signs of rodents in cattle-housing or feed-storage areas (OR=2.75; CI 0.94, 9.92), and contact of wild geese with cattle or feed (OR=4.5; 1.16, 29.51).

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