Multilaboratory survey to evaluate Salmonella prevalence in diarrheic and nondiarrheic dogs and cats in the United States between 2012 and 2014

Renate Reimschuessel, Michael Grabenstein, Jake Guag, Sarah M. Nemser, Kyunghee Song, Junshan Qiu, Kristin A. Clothier, Barbara A. Byrne, Stanley L. Marks, Kyran Cadmus, Kristy Pabilonia, Susan Sanchez, Sreekumari Rajeev, Steve Ensley, Timothy S. Frana, Albert E. Jergens, Kimberly H. Chappell, Siddhartha Thakur, Beverly Byrum, Jing CuiYan Zhang, Matthew M. Erdman, Shelley C. Rankin, Russell Daly, Seema Das, Laura Ruesch, Sara D. Lawhon, Shuping Zhang, Timothy Baszler, Dubraska Diaz-Campos, Faye Hartmann, Ogi Okwumabua

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


Eleven laboratories collaborated to determine the periodic prevalence of Salmonella in a population of dogs and cats in the United States visiting veterinary clinics. Fecal samples (2,965) solicited from 11 geographically dispersed veterinary testing laboratories were collected in 36 states between January 2012 and April 2014 and tested using a harmonized method. The overall study prevalence of Salmonella in cats (3 of 542) was <1%. The prevalence in dogs (60 of 2,422) was 2.5%. Diarrhea was present in only 55% of positive dogs; however, 3.8% of the all diarrheic dogs were positive, compared with 1.8% of the nondiarrheic dogs. Salmonella-positive dogs were significantly more likely to have consumed raw food (P = 0.01), to have consumed probiotics (P = 0.002), or to have been given antibiotics (P = 0.01). Rural dogs were also more likely to be Salmonella positive than urban (P = 0.002) or suburban (P = 0.001) dogs. In the 67 isolates, 27 unique serovars were identified, with three dogs having two serovars present. Antimicrobial susceptibility testing of 66 isolates revealed that only four of the isolates were resistant to one or more antibiotics. Additional characterization of the 66 isolates was done using pulsed-field gel electrophoresis and whole-genome sequencing (WGS). Sequence data compared well to resistance phenotypic data and were submitted to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI). This study suggests an overall decline in prevalence of Salmonella-positive dogs and cats over the last decades and identifies consumption of raw food as a major risk factor for Salmonella infection. Of note is that almost half of the Salmonella-positive animals were clinically nondiarrheic.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1350-1368
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Clinical Microbiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2017


  • Diarrhea
  • Fecal organisms
  • Pets
  • Salmonella
  • WGS

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)


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