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Faecal shedding of pathogenic Yersinia enterocolitica determined by qPCR for yst virulence gene associated with reduced live weight but not diarrhoea in prime lambs

Jacobson, C., Yang, R., Williams, A., Gardner, G.E., Carmichael, I., Campbell, A.J.D. and Ryan, U. (2018) Faecal shedding of pathogenic Yersinia enterocolitica determined by qPCR for yst virulence gene associated with reduced live weight but not diarrhoea in prime lambs. Preventive Veterinary Medicine, 152 . pp. 56-64.

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Link to Published Version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.prevetmed.2018.02.004
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Abstract

Associations between faecal shedding of pathogenic Yersinia enterocolitica (based on the yst virulence gene) with growth, carcass weight and diarrhoea were investigated using an observational longitudinal study of 1,200 crossbred prime (meat) lambs on eight Australian farms. Live weight, breech faecal soiling score (scale 1-5) and faecal consistency score (FCS; scale 1-5) were recorded, and faecal samples collected from each lamb on three sampling occasions; weaning (≈12 weeks of age), post-weaning (≈19 weeks) and pre-slaughter (≈29 weeks). Hot standard carcass weight was measured at slaughter. Faecal samples were screened for presence and concentration of pathogenic Y. enterocolitica using quantitative PCR. Associations of pathogenic Y. enterocolitica detection and shedding intensity with lamb health and production were assessed using general linear models (carcass weight), linear mixed effects models (live weight, FCS and breech soiling score) and non-parametric tests (FCS and breech soiling score). Prevalence for non-pelleted faeces (FCS ≥ 3.0) and diarrhoea (FCS ≥ 4.0) were compared with the two-tailed z-test, odds ratios and relative risk. Lambs shedding pathogenic Y. enterocolitica were 3.78 kg lighter post-weaning (P < 0.001) and 2.61 kg lighter pre-slaughter (P = 0.035) compared to lambs in which pathogenic Y. enterocolitica was not detected. Higher faecal concentration of pathogenic Y. enterocolitica was associated with lower live weight (P < 0.001). There was no association between pathogenic Y. enterocolitica detection and carcass weight. Overall there was no association between pathogenic Y. enterocolitica detection and FCS or breech soiling score. Only one flock had increased relative risk for non-pelleted faeces associated with pathogenic Y. enterocolitica detection, and one other flock had increased relative risk for diarrhoea associated with pathogenic Y. enterocolitica detection. This is the first report of an association between reduced sheep live weight and pathogenic Y. enterocolitica based on the presence of the yst gene for heat stable enterotoxin determined by qPCR in sheep. Notably, impacts on live weight were observed in the absence of diarrhoea.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Veterinary and Life Sciences
Publisher: Elsevier BV
Copyright: © 2018 Elsevier B.V.
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/40237
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