Number of viable bacteria and presumptive antibiotic residues in milk fed to calves on commercial dairies

Sheikh A. Selim, James S Cullor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

43 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective - To assess the number of bacteria and presumptive antibiotic residues in milk fed to calves and to identify those bacteria and the antibiotic susceptibility of selected bacterial strains. Design - Cross-sectional prospective study. Sample Population - 189 samples obtained from 12 local dairies. Procedure - Samples of waste milk and milk-based fluids (eg, milk replacer, colostrum, bulk-tank milk) were obtained. Cumulative number of viable bacteria was determined. Bacteria were cultured aerobically, and antibiotic susceptibility testing of selected strains was performed. Presumptive antibiotic residues were detected by use of test kits. Results - Geometric mean of the cumulative number of bacteria for waste milk samples was significantly higher than for other types of milk or milk-based products. Streptococcus sp (84/165 samples) and Enterobacteriaceae (83/165 samples) were the predominant bacteria identified, followed by Staphylococcus sp (68/165 samples). Escherichia coli was the gram-negative species most commonly isolated (52/165 samples; 32%); however, none were strain 0157. Salmonella sp or Mycoplasma sp were not isolated. Of 189 samples, 119 (63%) were positive when tested for β-lactams or tetracycline by use of 2 commercially available assays. In vitro, some bacteria were resistant to commonly used antibiotics. Clinical Implications - Waste milk that has not been effectively treated (eg, pasteurization) to reduce microbial load prior to use as calf feed should be used with caution, because it may contain a high number of bacteria that may be pathogenic to cattle and human beings. Antibiotic residues that would constitute violative amounts and existence of multiple antibiotic resistant bacterial strains are concerns in calf health management and dairy food safety.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1029-1035
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
Volume211
Issue number8
StatePublished - Oct 15 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)

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