• A preliminary study of Salmonella spp., Listeria monocytogenes, Escherichia coli O157, Enterococcus faecalis and Clostridium spp. in Irish cattle

      Russell, L.; Galindo, C.P.; Whyte, P.; Bolton, Declan; Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine; Teagasc Walsh Scholarship Programme; 14/SF/487; 2014239 (Teagasc, 2021-06-03)
      Although Salmonella spp., Escherichia coli O157, Listeria monocytogenes, Enterococcus faecalis and Clostridium spp. present a significant food safety and/or spoilage issue for the beef sector, there are limited data on their prevalence in Irish cattle. The objectives of this preliminary study were to investigate the distribution (percentage of farms positive) of Salmonella spp., E. coli O157, L. monocytogenes, E. faecalis and Clostridium spp. and the overall prevalence (%) of these bacteria in cattle on a small cohort of Irish beef farms. A total of 121 fresh bovine faecal samples were obtained on 10 randomly selected beef farms in the Northeast of Ireland and tested for the target pathogens using standard culture-based methods. Presumptive positives were confirmed using previously published polymerase chain reaction (PCR) methods. Salmonella were not detected in any of the samples. E. coli O157, L. monocytogenes, E. faecalis and Clostridium spp. were present on 50%, 40%, 100% and 100% of farms, respectively, with overall (all farms) prevalence rates in cattle of 9%, 8.2%, 61.9% and 87.6%, respectively. This study suggests that E. coli O157 may be more prevalent than previously thought and L. monocytogenes, E. faecalis and Clostridium spp. are widespread in Irish beef animals.