In November of 2019, our lab shared some of our recent research at the 100th Conference of Research Workers in Animal Disease in Chicago. The conference featured over 500 research presentations on animal and population health, animal disease, and translational medicine, and it is one of the oldest and largest international research conferences on these topics.
Samantha Locke shared her work on potential sources of Salmonella lymph node infections in calves. Calves carry invasive, multi-drug resistant strains of Salmonella that contaminate food. Some of the lymph node infections in calves are due to exposure in livestock trailers and large, and suggests better cleaning and disinfection efforts may limit food borne transmission.
Jess Pempek presented some of her recent research on organic dairy producers’ perspectives concerning vaccination and antimicrobial use. Most organic producers in Ohio reported vaccinating their herd, but lack of vaccine use is often due to lack of perceived need or knowledge gaps (e.g., some producers just had not thought about vaccination before) — not explicit anti-vaccine sentiments. Not surprisingly, reported antimicrobial use was rare; however, necessary treatment is perceived as inconvenient and costly, and producers often cull the animal rather than use antimicrobials.
Dr. Habing gave two talks at the conference. His first talk highlighted the work of MPH student, Brianna Byrne, on genomic characterization of Salmonella Dublin recovered from Ohio cattle. Stains of S.Dublin recovered from Ohio cattle were highly genetically related, demonstrating on-going circulation of single clonal complex. High and stable levels of antimicrobial resistance persisted through the time frame, and were primarily mediated through genes located on horizontally transmissible plasmids. Additionally, the presence or absence of AMR genes accurately predicted AMR phenotypes. Further characterization of the transmission pathways for S.Dublin and other virulent Salmonella serotypes is necessary to identify optimal prevention practices and reduce the incidence of disease in animals and people.
Dr. Habing also presented research on the prevalence of bacteremia in dairy calves with GI disease, a recent study led by veterinary students, Jessica Garcia and Miranda Hengy. The prevalence of bacteremia in diarrheic calves has been estimated to be 30%. However, our work estimates this prevalence to be as low as 9.3%, and the risk of bacteremia is higher in younger calves (< 12 d) and calves with depression or a fever. Additional research in this area is necessary to improve the specificity and generalizability of this data.
Our new publication in the Journal of Dairy Science is hot off the press! In a prior trial, lactoferrin treatment halved the mortality risk in pre-weaned dairy calves with GI disease, but the treatment effect was smaller and non-significant in this follow-up study conducted on multiple farms across Ohio. Excellent work, team!
Dr. Habing fielded some tough questions about the impacts of antibiotic use in livestock during the “Ask the Expert” event at the Farm Science Review. The “Ask the Expert” event is an annual, collaborative extension education effort among faculty and staff from the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences and the College of Veterinary Medicine. The 20 minute presentations from the experts address important veterinary medicine and farm management challenges facing Ohio farmers.
Jessica Garcia, veterinary student and member of The One Herd Lab, was awarded first place in the student research competition at the American Association of Bovine Practitioners Annual Conference in St. Louis, Missouri! Jess’s work shows bacteremia in calves with diarrhea is much less common than we thought based on earlier studies. This novel finding suggests antimicrobials should be used only for severe cases.
Jess also placed first at the OSU CVM College Research Day for her outstanding poster presentation earlier this year.
Dr. Habing and veterinary students, Miranda Hengy and Jess Garcia, attended the 52nd Annual Conference of the American Association of Bovine Practitioners, September 12-14, 2019 in St. Louis, Missouri.
Dr. Habing engaged with colleagues as he presented two posters on genomic characterization and trends in the antimicrobial susceptibility of Salmonella Dublin recovered from Ohio cattle.
Miranda also delivered a poster presentation on the use of a novel technique, Sepsityper kit with MALDI-TOF, to detect bacteremia in diarrheic dairy calves.
Jess shared an oral presentation on the prevalence of bacteremia in diarrheic dairy calves, and the potential association of clinical signs with bacteremia.
Conference abstracts and full posters are available here. Great work, Team!
Our Herd was recently awarded nearly $13,000 in USDA-Animal Health-Formula Funds to support the work of Ph.D. student, Samantha Locke. Sam’s work will focus on creating effective cleaning and disinfection protocols to eradicate Salmonella biofilms.
Keep up the great work, Sam!
Kent Weaver, second-year veterinary student, presented his summer research at Tufts University Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine Tufts University during the the 2019 National Veterinary Scholars Symposium, the annual scientific colloquium which showcases research accomplishments by veterinary students completing summer research internships. The goal of Kent’s study was to use semi-structured interviews to develop an understanding of how dairy producers approach disease prevention and treatment on organic operations.
To learn more, check out Kent’s abstract and poster. Great work, Kent!
A deceptively simple assignment for fourth-year veterinary students at the dairy: Assess the health and welfare of this population. For the Preventive Medicine Rotation, we visited Waterman Dairy and challenged students to assess specific health and welfare parameters of cows and calves on the farm, and then return to the classroom and use records from the dairy to calculate disease incidence. Epidemiology really does sound simple until you actually have to do it… Our goal with this exercise was to make epidemiology fun and a little less daunting as students worked through tasks as a team, giving them confidence to apply these skills in future practice.
Recent OSU MPH-VPH graduate, Drew Barkley, presented his Master’s research at the American Dairy Science Association’s Annual Meeting in Cincinnati, Ohio this week. Drew estimated the prevalence of different pathogens associated with diarrhea in dairy calves on a number of farms in Ohio. Rotavirus and K99+ E. coli were the most prevalent pathogens, followed by C. parvum, coronavirus, and Salmonella. Also, risk of mortality was higher for calves infected with E. coli and Salmonella. To learn more, please read the abstract or check our Drew’s poster.
Great work, Drew!
Jessica Garcia presented findings from her summer research project at the American Dairy Science Association in Cincinnati, OH this week. Prior research had suggested that a third of calves with diarrhea are have blood stream infections, yet her research suggested that the prevalence in dairy calves in early stages of disease is much lower. Additionally, bacteria were recovered from aseptic blood samples of calves without clinical signs, suggesting that calves may routinely undergo intermittent bouts of bacteremia. These findings contradict prior research, but may be important to inform routine antibiotic decisions on dairy farms. Read the abstract here.