Salmonella in cattle herds may behave as epidemic or endemic infections. An intensive longitudinal sampling study across all management groups and ages on six dairy farms in the UK was used to examine patterns of Salmonella shedding, following the prior identification of either Salmonella Dublin (SD) (three farms) or Salmonella Typhimurium (ST) (three farms) on the premises in the context of clinical salmonellosis. Individual faeces, pooled faeces and environmental samples (total 5711 samples), taken approximately every six weeks for 15–24 weeks, were cultured for Salmonella. SD was detected at low frequency (on any visit, 0.5–18.3 per cent of samples positive) and most consistently in calves. By contrast, ST was isolated at higher frequency (on any visit, 6.8–75 per cent of samples positive), and in higher numbers, up to 107 cfu/g faeces. Significantly more samples from calves were positive for ST than were positive for SD (50.6 per cent v 3.1 per cent; P < 0.001), which was also true for milking cows (46.3 per cent v 4.4 per cent; P < 0.001). The differences could help to explain the different patterns of bovine infection classically associated with these two serovars in the UK. No consistent effect upon shedding was seen among the ST-infected herds following vaccination.
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