The objective of this study is to determine the prevalence and types of Salmonella in fecal samples from both symptomatic and asymptomatic animals brought to veterinary clinics. Salmonella can be present in many different environments, including water, soil, insects, feces, wild and farm raised animals, raw foods, surfaces and animal feeds. Salmonellosis causes gastrointestinal disease in humans and animals. Symptoms in people include nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, diarrhea, fever and headache. Animals may also show signs of gastrointestinal disease, although they may harbor Salmonella bacteria without showing signs of clinical disease. Since 1999, a number of human salmonellosis outbreaks have been correlated with ingestion of Salmonella-contaminated animal feeds in Canada and the United States. What remains generally unknown is the effect that Salmonella contaminated feeds has on the health of pets. How frequently do cases of Salmonellosis occur in pets, and how frequently do they develop a carrier state, where do they harbor the bacteria but fail to exhibit clinical signs of disease? In addition, the various serotypes of Salmonella involved in pet disease have not been adequately characterized. In order to gain further insight into the prevalence of Salmonella infected animals following feed contamination, the FDA Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM) is seeking proposals that will provide information on the prevalence of Salmonella in fecal samples obtained from diarrheic and non-diarrheic pets seeking veterinary care.. Laboratories will participate in a multi-center study and CVM will coordinate methods among the participants. Sampling protocols and culture methods will be standardized throughout the participating laboratories. Patient fecal samples will be cultured for Salmonella from using well established and validated methods. Serotyping methods will also be standardized among the participants. These isolates will be submitted to CVM upon completion of the study. A minimum of 100 symptomatic and 100 asymptomatic cases will be examined during a 12 month period. Participating laboratories will collaborate with other cooperative agreement laboratories to develop a final standardized protocol for their microbiologic isolations. They will also be required to participate in one round of proficiency testing per year. Further they will be required to report findings quarterly in a standardized format agreed upon by the cooperative laboratories.
Salmonellosis causes gastrointestinal disease in humans and animals. Animals may harbor Salmonella bacteria without showing signs of clinical disease and may become infected by ingestion of contaminated animal feed. What remains generally unknown is the effect that Salmonella contaminated feeds has on the health of pets as well as the diversity of Salmonella serotypes involved in pet disease. Knowledge of the prevalence of Salmonella and serotypes of Salmonella in fecal samples from both symptomatic and asymptomatic animals will provide valuable information to establish the role of Salmonella in causing disease in these animals as well as the correlation to Salmonella found in animal feeds and human outbreaks.