Spatial distribution of antibodies to Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium O antigens in bulk milk from Texas dairy herds.
Additional Document Info
Environmental factors that enhance either the survivability or dispersion of Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium (S. Typhimurium) could result in a spatial pattern of disease risk. The objectives of this study were to: (1) describe herd status based on antibody response to Salmonella Typhimurium as estimated from bulk tank milk samples and (2) to describe the resulting geographical patterns found among Texas dairy herds. Eight hundred and fifty-two bulk milk samples were collected from georeferenced dairy farms and assayed by an indirect enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) using S. Typhimurium lipopolysaccharide (LPS). ELISA signal-to-noise ratios for each bulk tank milk sample were calculated and used for geostatistical analyses. Best-fit parameters for the exponential theoretical variogram included a range of 438.8 km, partial sill of 0.060 and nugget of 0.106. The partial sill is the classical geostatistical term for the variance that can be explained by the herd's location and the nugget is the spatially random component of the variance. We have identified a spatial process in bulk milk tank titers for S. Typhimurium in Texas dairy herds and present a map of the expected smoothed surface. Areas with higher expected titers should be targeted in further studies on controlling Salmonella infection with environmental modifications.