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Prev Vet Med. 2004 Aug 30;65(1-2):47-62.

Salmonella Dublin infection in dairy cattle: risk factors for becoming a carrier.

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Department of Large Animal Sciences, The Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University, Grønnegårdsvej 8, 1870 Frederiksberg C, Denmark.


Long-term Salmonella Dublin carrier animals harbor the pathogen in lymph nodes and internal organs and can periodically shed bacteria through feces or milk, and contribute to transmission of the pathogen within infected herds. Thus, it is of great interest to reduce the number of new carrier animals in cattle herds. An observational field study was performed to evaluate factors affecting the risk that dairy cattle become carrier animals after infection with Salmonella Dublin. Based on repeated sampling, cattle in 12 Danish dairy herds were categorized according to course of infection, as either carriers (n = 157) or transiently infected (n = 87). The infection date for each animal was estimated from fecal excretion and antibody responses. The relationship between the course of infection (carrier versus transiently infected) and risk factors were analyzed using a random effect multilevel, multivariable logistic regression model. The animals with the highest risk of becoming carriers were heifers infected between the age of 1 year and 1st calving, and cows infected around the time of calving. The risk was higher in the first two quarters of the year (late Winter to Spring), and when the prevalence of potential shedders in the herd was low. The risk also varied between herds. The herds with the highest risk of carrier development were herds with clinical disease outbreaks during the study period. These findings are useful for future control strategies against Salmonella Dublin, because they show the importance of optimized calving management and management of heifers, and because they show that even when the herd prevalence is low, carriers are still being produced. The results raise new questions about the development of the carrier state in cattle after infection with low doses of Salmonella Dublin.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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