Population Dynamics of Salmonella enterica within Beef Cattle Cohorts Followed from Single-Dose Metaphylactic Antibiotic Treatment until Slaughter. Academic Article uri icon


  • Antibiotic use in cattle can select for multidrug-resistant Salmonella enterica, which is considered a serious threat by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A randomized controlled longitudinal field trial was designed to determine the long-term effects of a single dose of ceftiofur or tulathromycin on Salmonella population characteristics in cattle feces and peripheral lymph nodes and on hides. A total of 134 beef cattle from two sources were divided among 12 pens, with cattle in each of the 3-pen blocks receiving a single dose of either ceftiofur or tulathromycin or neither (control) on day 0. Fecal samples were collected before treatment (day 0) and repeatedly following treatment until slaughter (day 99+). Hide and lymph node samples were collected at slaughter age. Salmonella prevalence, phenotypic antimicrobial resistance, serotype, and phylogenetic relationships were examined. Multilevel mixed logistic regression models indicated no significant effects (P 0.218) of metaphylactic antibiotics on the prevalence of Salmonella across sample types. However, there was a significant time effect observed, with prevalence increasing from spring through the midsummer months (P < 0.0001) in feces. The majority of Salmonella isolates were pansusceptible to a panel of 14 antibiotics both before and after treatment. Highly prevalent Salmonella serotypes were Salmonella enterica serovar Montevideo, Salmonella enterica serovar Anatum, Salmonella enterica serovar Cerro, and Salmonella enterica serovar Lubbock across all sample types. Strong pen and cattle source serotype clustering effects were observed among Salmonella isolates originating from fecal, lymph node, and hide samples; however, the potential role of Salmonella isolates from the pen environment prior to animal placement was not assessed in this study.IMPORTANCESalmonella is a leading bacterial foodborne pathogen, causing a significant number of human infections and deaths every year in the United States. Macrolides and 3rd-generation cephalosporins play critical roles in the treatment of human salmonellosis. Use of these antibiotics in beef cattle can select for resistant bacteria that may enter the food chain or spread from the farm via manure. There is a lack of longitudinal research concerning the long-term effects of metaphylactic antibiotic administration. Here, we assessed Salmonella population dynamics during the feeding period until slaughter following single-dose antibiotic treatment. We found no long-term effects of antibiotic use early in the cattle-feeding period on Salmonella prevalence and antimicrobial resistance at slaughter. We identified the pens in which cattle were housed as the factor that contributed most to Salmonella serotypes being shared; importantly, the dominant strain in each pen changed repeatedly over the entire feeding period.

published proceedings

  • Appl Environ Microbiol

altmetric score

  • 1.25

author list (cited authors)

  • Levent, G., Schlochtermeier, A., Ives, S. E., Norman, K. N., Lawhon, S. D., Loneragan, G. H., ... Scott, H. M.

citation count

  • 17

complete list of authors

  • Levent, Gizem||Schlochtermeier, Ashlynn||Ives, Samuel E||Norman, Keri N||Lawhon, Sara D||Loneragan, Guy H||Anderson, Robin C||Vinasco, Javier||Scott, H Morgan

editor list (cited editors)

  • Elkins, C. A.

publication date

  • December 2019