Investigation into possible differences in Salmonella prevalence in the peripheral lymph nodes of cattle derived from distinct production systems and of different breed types

T. R. Brown, T. S. Edrington, G. H. Loneragan, D. L. Hanson, K. Malin, J. J. Ison, D. J. Nisbet

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8 Scopus citations


Previous research demonstrated significant variation in the prevalence of Salmonella in peripheral lymph nodes (LNs) of feedlot cattle and cull cows, with greater prevalence in feedlot cattle. Therefore, we performed experiments to investigate whether these differences in Salmonella prevalence in subiliac LNs are due to, or influenced by, breed, which in many respects is a proxy for the production system in which the animal is derived. Holstein steers are a by-product of dairy systems, and beef steers are an intended product of commercial beef operations. For the first experiment, Holstein and beef steers originating from the same feedlot and harvested on the same day were sampled. Of the 467 Holstein and 462 beef cattle LNs collected, 62.1% of Holstein and 59.7% of beef cattle samples harbored Salmonella (P=0.46; qualitative culture), with 51.2 and 48.9% of samples containing quantifiable concentrations (P=0.49), respectively. The concentration of Salmonella within the LN followed a decreasing trend over the collection period (May to October), averaging 1.4 log CFU/g of LN for both Holstein and beef cattle samples (P=0.78). In a second experiment, we compared 100% Brahman cattle to their beef cattle counterparts, as we hypothesized that the resistance of Brahman cattle to insects may reduce Salmonella transmission via biting insects. Of the 42 Brahman and 31 beef cattle LNs collected, the concentration of Salmonella within the LN averaged 3.0 log CFU/g for Brahman cattle and 2.9 log CFU/g for beef cattle samples (P=0.30). Using qualitative culture, we recovered Salmonella from 100% of LNs from Brahman cattle and 97% of beef cattle samples (P=0.25). Results of this research indicate that the differences observed are not due to breed and are likely a function of age, immune function, or other factors yet to be identified. Understanding which cattle are more likely to harbor Salmonella within LNs will aid in targeting both pre-and postharvest intervention strategies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2081-2084
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of food protection
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2015


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