Sources other than unused sawdust can introduce Klebsiella pneumonia into dairy herds
Abstract: A longitudinal study was carried out to detect intramammary infections caused by Klebsiella pneumoniae and to identify potential sources of this bacterial species in the environment of the cows. The study was performed in 6 well-managed Belgian dairy herds from May 2008 to May 2009. Monthly (n=13), unused and used sawdust bedding samples as well as individual quarter milk and feces samples were collected from 10 randomly selected cohort cows in each herd. Cases of clinical mastitis of all lactating cows in the 6 herds were also sampled (n=64). From the 3,518 collected samples, 153 K. pneumoniae isolates were obtained, of which 2 originated from milk (clinical mastitis cases). In feces (n=728), used bedding (n=73), and unused bedding (n=73), respectively, 125 (17.2%), 20 (27.4%), and 6 (8.2%) isolates were found. The isolates were fingerprinted by means of pulsed field gel electrophoresis. In total, 109 different pulsotypes were differentiated, indicating a high degree of genetic diversity within the isolates. All isolates from unused bedding belonged to pulsotypes other than those from the other sources, suggesting that sources other than unused sawdust may introduce K. pneumoniae into the herd. Only 2 pulsotypes contained isolates originating from different sources. Pulsotype 10 was found in milk and used bedding and pulsotype 21 was found in feces and used bedding. The 2 milk isolates originated from 2 cows in the same herd but they belonged to a different pulsotype. The results indicate that K. pneumoniae can be prevalent in the environment without causing significant mastitis problems. Most cows were shedding K. pneumoniae in feces, substantiating findings under very different conditions (i.e., American dairy herds). Contamination of used bedding in the cubicles with K. pneumoniae from feces was confirmed, whereas unused bedding was not an important source of K. pneumoniae for the environment of the cows.
Source: JOURNAL OF DAIRY SCIENCE Volume: 94 Issue: 6 Pages: 2832-2839 Published: JUNE 2011