Veterinarians may now test for a certain Salmonella strain affecting cattle populations in the United States thanks to a test developed by researchers at Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, the Ithaca Journal reports.
The new test tracks antibodies in cattle to help identify asymptomatic carriers of Salmonella Dublin, a strain that causes disease in young cattle and unborn calves.
The new test can be used on samples from bulk milk tanks to determine if an entire herd has been contaminated, compared to previous tests that could only be used on individual animals.
Calves infected with Salmonella Dublin may develop fevers, dehydration, depression and severe diarrhea, sometimes with blood. Infections can often lead to bacterial septicemia involving the lungs, liver and spleen, and can be fatal.
Cattle can transfer the bacteria to humans via direct-contact or contaminated food.
Salmonella Dublin has only recently crossed from the west into eastern states, a Cornell extension specialist told the Journal, but researchers hope that by preventative measures can keep the bacteria from spreading any further.