Factors associated with Salmonella shedding among equine colic patients at a veterinary teaching hospital.

Kim LM, Morley PS, Traub-Dargatz JL, Salman MD, Gentry-Weeks C.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate factors potentially associated with fecal Salmonella shedding among equine patients hospitalized for colic at a veterinary teaching hospital and to determine the effects of probiotic treatment on fecal Salmonella shedding and clinical signs. DESIGN: Longitudinal study and controlled trial. ANIMALS: 246 equine colic patients. PROCEDURE: History and medical information were obtained from patient records. Fecal and environmental samples were submitted for aerobic bacterial culture for Salmonella enterica. Fifty-one patients were treated with a commercially available probiotic; 46 were treated with a placebo. Logistic regression was used to evaluate data. RESULTS: Salmonella organisms were detected in feces from 23 (9%) patients at least once during hospitalization. Patients were more likely to shed Salmonella organisms if diarrhea was evident < or = 6 hours after hospitalization and duration of hospitalization exceeded 8 days (odds ratio [OR], 20.3), laminitis developed during hospitalization (OR, 12.0), results of nasogastric intubation were abnormal (OR, 4.9), leukopenia was evident < or =6 hours after hospitalization (OR, 4.6), or travel time to the teaching hospital exceeded 1 hour (OR, 3.5). Horses treated with the probiotic did not differ from control horses in regard to likelihood of fecal Salmonella shedding (OR, 1.5) or prevalence of clinical signs. CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE: Results suggest that certain risk factors are associated with fecal shedding of S enterica among equine patients hospitalized at a veterinary teaching hospital because of colic and that pathogen monitoring in patients and the hospital environment and use of barrier nursing precautions for equine colic patients are beneficial.

Authors

Paul Morley

Citation

Kim LM, Morley PS, Traub-Dargatz JL, Salman MD, Gentry-Weeks C. Factors associated with Salmonella shedding among equine colic patients at a veterinary teaching hospital. J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2001 Mar 1;218(5):740-8.