Zoonotic fecal pathogens and antimicrobial resistance in county fair animals

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Livestock fairs present a unique opportunity for the public to experience close contact with animals, but may also expose people to zoonotic pathogens through contact with animal feces. The goal of this study was to screen cattle, sheep, goat, chicken, rabbit and horse feces from a livestock fair in California for the potentially zoonotic pathogens Escherichia coli O157:H7, Salmonella, Campylobacter, Vibrio, Cryptosporidium and Giardia spp., as well as determining the level of antimicrobial resistance in E. coli and Salmonella. Notably, E. coli O157:H7 was reported for the first time in a pig at a county fair in California. Campylobacter jejuni as well as Salmonella enterica serovars Derby and Thompson were also isolated from pigs, cattle, sheep, goats or chickens, whereas horses and rabbits were negative for all target pathogens. The prevalence of antimicrobial resistance as well as multi-drug resistance patterns were highest for E. coli and Salmonella spp. cultured from pigs and chickens, were generally widespread but at lower levels for other animal groups, and included resistance to ampicillin and streptomycin, two antimicrobial drugs of importance for human medicine. This study provides data that highlight the importance of practicing good hygiene in livestock fair settings to avoid transmission of zoonotic microbes, particularly pathogens with antimicrobial resistance, to fair visitors and among animal populations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)303-308
Number of pages6
JournalComparative Immunology, Microbiology and Infectious Diseases
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2013


  • Antimicrobial resistance
  • Campylobacter
  • Cryptosporidium
  • Escherichia coli O157:H7
  • Giardia
  • Livestock fair
  • One Health
  • Salmonella
  • Vibrio

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Microbiology
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • veterinary(all)


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