ABSTRACT: The objectives of this study were to determine the potential risk of dog treats in transmitting Salmonella to humans in the USA, and to characterize genetic relatedness and antimicrobial resistance among the isolates.
A total of 158 dog treats derived from pig ears and other animal parts were randomly collected nationwide and assayed for the presence of Salmonella. The Salmonella isolates were characterized using serotyping, pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) and antimicrobial susceptibility testing.
Forty-one percent (65/158) of samples were positive for Salmonella. Eighty-four Salmonella isolates, comprising 24 serotypes, were recovered from the 65 positive samples. Fourteen samples were contaminated with more than one Salmonella serotype. PFGE analysis of 78 Salmonella isolates yielded 64 patterns. S. Infantis with PFGE patterns indistinguishable from those of strains identified in Canadian outbreaks in 1999 were recovered in several dog treat products. The majority of Salmonella isolates were susceptible to the antimicrobials tested; however, resistance was observed to tetracycline (26%), streptomycin (23%), sulfamethoxazole (19%), chloramphenicol (8%) and ampicillin (8%). Twenty-eight (36%) Salmonella isolates were resistant to at least one antimicrobial and 10 (13%) isolates displayed resistance to four or more antimicrobials. Two isolates were identified as S. Typhimurium DT104 with the characteristic penta-resistance phenotype (ampicillin, chloramphenicol, streptomycin, sulfamethoxazole and tetracycline). One S. Brandenburg isolate was resistant to eight antimicrobials. Seven Salmonella isolates also contained class I integrons encoding resistance genes to aminoglycosides, beta-lactam and streptothricin antimicrobials.
The study indicates that animal-derived dog treats in the USA could be a potential source of animal and human infections with Salmonella, including multidrug-resistant Salmonella strains.
Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy 12/2003; 52(5):860-3. · 5.07 Impact Factor