Salmonella Dublin faecal excretion probabilities in cattle with different temporal antibody profiles in 14 endemically infected dairy herds

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This longitudinal field study investigated the hypothesis that persistently high antibody levels indicate a high risk of Salmonella Dublin shedding in animals in 14 endemically infected dairy herds. A hierarchical multivariable logistic regression was used to analyse 6614 paired faecal cultures and four types of temporal antibody profiles from cattle aged ≥180 days. Age and repeated measurements on animals nested within herds were taken into account. Overall, the prevalence of faecal shedders was low (0·3% and 2·8% in the lowest and highest risk groups, respectively). An important predictor of faecal shedding was young age. There was a significant, but modest increase in risk in cattle with persistently high or recently increased antibody levels, but no difference between these two groups. Contrary to previous recommendations, the detection of carriers by the use of repeated antibody testing is not likely to be a plausible control option in most Salmonella Dublin-infected dairy herds.

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