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Type of publication: Journal Article
Type of document: Full Paper

Year: 2013

Authors: Klein, D; Alispahic, M; Sofka, D; Iwersen, M; Drillich, M; Hilbert, F

Title: Prevalence and risk factors for shedding of thermophilic Campylobacter in calves with and without diarrhea in Austrian dairy herds.

Source: J Dairy Sci. 2013; 96(2):1203-1210

Authors Vetmeduni Vienna:

Alispahic Merima
Drillich Marc
Hilbert Friederike
Iwersen Michael
Klein-Jöbstl Daniela
Sofka Dmitri

Vetmed Research Units
University Clinic for Ruminants, Clinical Unit of Herd Management in ruminants
University Clinic for Poultry and Fish Medicine, Clinical Unit of Poultry Medicine
Institute of Food Safety, Food Technology and Veterinary Public Health, Unit of Food Hygiene and Technology

The objectives of this study were to evaluate the presence of thermophilic Campylobacter in feces of calves with and without diarrhea on dairy farms and to survey farm characteristics and management practices to define risk factors for the presence of Campylobacter. Fifty dairy farms were chosen based on the presence of calf diarrhea, and 50 farms in which calves were free from diarrhea served as a standard of comparison. In total, fecal samples were taken from 382 calves. Farm data and management practices were surveyed using a questionnaire on farm. Campylobacter were isolated from fecal samples and colonies were identified by matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry analysis. Campylobacter spp., mainly Campylobacter jejuni (93% of isolated species), were detected on 33% of the farms and in 14.9% of the calves. Detection of Campylobacter did not differ between farms or between calves with and without diarrhea, although we found a tendency for calves suffering from diarrhea to shed Campylobacter more often. Calves may act as a reservoir of Campylobacter and may therefore lead to infections of other animals and humans. To define control strategies to reduce Campylobacter in calves, we identified on-farm risk factors. The presence of poultry on the farm, the time of cow-calf separation following birth, the use of an individual bucket for each calf, the feeding of waste milk, and the duration of individual housing were variables significantly associated with the appearance or absence of Campylobacter.

Keywords Pubmed: Animals
Bacterial Shedding*
Campylobacter Infections/epidemiology
Campylobacter Infections/microbiology
Campylobacter Infections/veterinary*
Campylobacter jejuni
Cattle Diseases/epidemiology
Cattle Diseases/microbiology*
Risk Factors

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