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A Preliminary Study of Salmonella, Verocytotoxigenic Escherichia coli/Escherichia coli O157 and Campylobacter on Four Mixed Farms

Bolton, D. J., O’Neill, C. J., Fanning, S.
Zoonoses and public health 2012 v.59 no.3 pp. 217-228
Campylobacter coli, Escherichia coli O157, Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica serovar Dublin, bacteriophages, cattle, cattle housing, deer, dogs, farms, feces, genes, genomic islands, horses, immunomagnetic separation, pathogens, pets, poultry, risk assessment, rodents, serotypes, sheep, soil sampling, swine, virulence, wild birds
The aims of this study were to investigate the incidence of Salmonella, verocytotoxigenic Escherichia coli (VTEC)/Escherichia coli O157 and Campylobacter on four mixed farms and to characterize the isolates in terms of a range of virulence factors. Eighty‐nine composite (five different samples from the same animal species combined) faecal [cattle (24), pigs (14), sheep (4), poultry (4), horses (7), deer (4), dogs (9), rodents (2) and wild birds (20)] samples, 16 composite soil samples plus 35 individual water samples were screened using culture‐based, immunomagnetic separation and molecular methods. Salmonella was detected in bovine faeces, cattle and poultry house water. Salmonella serotypes/phage types included Dublin, Kiel and Typhimurium DT193, and most isolates were spvC, invA and rck positive. The pefA and rck genes were found exclusively in the non‐Typhimurium strains, while Salmonella Dublin and Salmonella Kiel strains carried Salmonella genomic island I marker(s). VTEC/E. coli O157 were found in deer and dog faeces only. The E. coli O157 isolate was an enteroinvasive E. coli, while the VTEC isolate was untypable but carried the vt1, eaeA, hlyA, tir and eptD genes. This article reports the first confirmed carriage of E. coli O157 in Irish deer. Campylobacter species were not detected over the course of this study. It was concluded that [1] Salmonella, VTEC and Campylobacter have low (<5%) prevalence or are absent on the farms in this study; [2] water was an important source of bacterial pathogens; [3] both dogs and deer may act as a source of pathogenic E. coli and [4] key virulence and resistance determinants are widespread in farm Salmonella strains. This study highlights the need to control water as a source of pathogens and suggests that the domestic pets and deer should be considered in any farm risk assessment.