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Salmonella enterica Serotype Cerro Among Dairy Cattle in New York: An Emerging Pathogen?

Kevin J. Cummings, Lorin D. Warnick, Mara Elton, Lorraine D. Rodriguez-Rivera, Julie D. Siler, Emily M. Wright, Yrjo T. Gröhn, Martin Wiedmann. Foodborne Pathogens and Disease


The focus of this study was Salmonella enterica serotype Cerro, a potentially emerging pathogen of cattle. Our objectives were to document the within-herd prevalence of Salmonella Cerro among a sample of New York dairy herds, to describe the antimicrobial resistance patterns and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis types of the isolates, and to elucidate the status of this serotype as a bovine pathogen. Data were collected prospectively from dairy herds throughout New York that had at least 150 lactating cows and that received clinical service from participating veterinarians. Following enrollment, Salmonella surveillance consisted of both environmental screening and disease monitoring within the herd. Herds positive by either environmental or fecal culture were sampled during three visits to estimate the within-herd prevalence of Salmonella. Among 57 enrolled herds, 44 (77%) yielded Salmonella-positive samples during the study period. Of these, 20 herds (46%) were positive for Salmonella Cerro. Upon follow-up sampling for estimation of prevalence, Cerro was identified in 10 of the 20 herds; the median within-herd Cerro prevalence was 17%, with a maximum of 53%. Antimicrobial resistance ranged from zero to nine drugs, and eight (40%) of the Cerro-positive farms generated drug-resistant isolates. Eight XbaI pulsed-field gel electrophoresis types were represented among 116 isolates tested, although 89% of these isolates shared the predominant type. Among herds with clinical cases, cattle that had signs consistent with salmonellosis were more likely to test positive for Cerro than apparently healthy cattle, as estimated by a logistic regression model that controlled for herd as a random effect (odds ratio: 3.9). There is little in the literature concerning Salmonella Cerro, and published reports suggest an absence of disease association in cattle. However, in our region there has been an apparent increase in the prevalence of this serotype among cattle with salmonellosis. Other Salmonella serotypes important to bovine health have emerged to become leading causes of human foodborne disease, and close monitoring of Cerro is warranted.