Substantial within-animal diversity of salmonella isolates from lymph nodes, feces, and hides of cattle at slaughter

Sara E. Gragg, G. H. Loneragan, Kendra K. Nightingale, Dayna M. Brichta-Harhay, Henry Ruiz, Jacob R. Elder, Lyda G. Garcia, Markus F. Miller, Alejandro Echeverry, Rosa G. Ramírez Porras, Mindy M. Brashears

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations


Lymph nodes (mandibular, mesenteric, mediastinal, and subiliac; n=68) and fecal (n=68) and hide (n=35) samples were collected from beef carcasses harvested in an abattoir in Mexico. Samples were analyzed for Salmonella, and presumptive colonies were subjected to latex agglutination. Of the isolates recovered, a subset of 91 was characterized by serotyping, pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE), and antimicrobial susceptibility phenotyping. Salmonella was isolated from 100% (hide), 94.1% (feces), 91.2% (mesenteric), 76.5% (subiliac), 55.9% (mandibular), and 7.4% (mediastinal) of samples. From the 87 typeable isolates, eight Salmonella enterica serotypes, including Kentucky (32.2%), Anatum (29.9%), Reading (17.2%), Meleagridis (12.6%), Cerro (4.6%), Muenster (1.1%), Give (1.1%), and Mbandaka (1.1%), were identified. S. Meleagridis was more likely (P=0.03) to be recovered from lymph nodes than from feces or hides, whereas S. Kentucky was more likely (P=0.02) to be recovered from feces and hides than from lymph nodes. The majority (59.3%) of the Salmonella isolates were pansusceptible; however, multidrug resistance was observed in 13.2% of isolates. Typing by PFGE revealed that Salmonella strains generally clustered by serotype, but some serotypes (Anatum, Kentucky, Meleagridis, and Reading) were comprised of multiple PFGE subtypes. Indistinguishable PFGE subtypes and, therefore, serotypes were isolated from multiple sample types, and multiple PFGE subtypes were commonly observed within an animal. Given the overrepresentation of some serotypes within lymph nodes, we hypothesize that certain Salmonella strains may be better at entering the bovine host than other Salmonella strains or that some may be better adapted for survival within lymph nodes. Our data provide insight into the ecology of Salmonella within cohorts of cattle and offer direction for intervention opportunities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4744-4750
Number of pages7
JournalApplied and environmental microbiology
Issue number15
StatePublished - Aug 2013


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