Potential associations between fecal shedding of Salmonella in feedlot cattle treated for apparent respiratory disease and subsequent adverse health outcomes


A prospective cohort study was used to assess whether Salmonella fecal shedding in commercial feedlot cattle treated with antimicrobials for respiratory disease was associated with subsequent adverse health outcomes. Feces were collected per rectum from cattle that were examined for apparent respiratory disease, had a rectal temperature ≥40 °C, and subsequently received antimicrobial treatment. Salmonella were recovered from 918 (73.7%) of 1 245 fecal samples and weekly prevalence estimates ranged from 49 to 100% over the 3-month study. Genotypic and phenotypic characteristics of Salmonella strains in the population were determined. Serogroup E Salmonella were most common (73.3%), followed by C1 (11.0%), C3 (8.6%), and B (1.1%). Predominant serotypes were Orion (46.5%), Anatum (19.8%), Kentucky (8.7%), Montevideo (7.5%), and Senftenberg (4.9%). Few isolates (36/918) were positive for antimicrobial resistance-associated integron gene intI1. Phenotypic susceptibility was associated with isolate intI1 status. Crude re-pull, re-treatment and case fatality risks were higher for cattle that were Salmonella-positive versus -negative at initial treatment, but not statistically different on multivariable analysis. However, case fatality risk was higher for cattle shedding Group B Salmonella than for cattle shedding other serogroups. Lots (groups) with a higher Salmonella prevalence at first treatment had a higher proportion of mortalities occur in a hospital pen, higher overall re-treatment risks, and were more likely to be sampled later in the study. Results indicate a high prevalence of Salmonella in this population of cattle treated for apparent respiratory disease, but that effects associated with clinical outcomes may depend on the Salmonella strain.