Author(s): Khaitsa ML, Kegode RB, Bauer ML, Gibbs PS, Lardy GP
Salmonella is one of the most frequent causes of foodborne illness worldwide, and transmission involves foods of animal origin such as beef. The objective of this study was to monitor the prevalence of Salmonella fecal shedding in feedlot cattle during the finishing period and to assess the antimicrobial resistance patterns of the isolated salmonellae. On arrival at the feedlot, 1 (0.7%) of the 144 steers was shedding Salmonella in its feces. After 28 days on feed, shedding was detected in 8 (5.6%) of the 144 steers. At the third sampling, 19 (13%) of 143 steers were shedding, and the number of shedders continued to increase to 89 (62%) of 143 at the last sampling. Salmonella shedding was significantly influenced (P < 0.0001) by sampling time but not by herd of origin. All Salmonella isolates identified belonged to serotype Typhimurium serovar Copenhagen, a type commonly isolated from Salmonella infections in humans. Antimicrobial resistance testing of the isolates revealed five multidrug resistance patterns, two of which accounted for 104 (95.4%) of 109 of the isolates. All the isolates were susceptible to ceftiofur, and all were resistant to spectinomycin, sulfathiazole, tiamulin, florfenicol, ampicillin, penicillin, chlortetracycline, oxytetracycline, and clindamycin. Data from this study indicate that a high prevalence of antimicrobial-resistant Salmonella strains can sometimes be found in feedlot cattle in North Dakota. These data will contribute to risk assessment of Salmonella shedding by cattle in feedlots and highlight the need to continue preharvest monitoring for this organism.