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Evaluation of the Effect of Gallium Maltolate on Fecal Salmonella Shedding in Cattle

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Strategies aimed at reducing fecal shedding of Salmonella and other foodborne pathogens may be effective for limiting transmission of pathogens from food animals to humans. The objective of this study was to determine the effectiveness of gallium maltolate (GaM) against Salmonella in vitro and to determine whether oral administration of GaM would reduce fecal shedding of Salmonella in cattle. Gallium is a semimetal exhibiting antimicrobial properties against some pathogenic bacteria, including Salmonella, by exploiting their need for iron to survive and replicate. In vitro growth studies were performed in pure cultures of Salmonella and in mixed cultures from ruminal fluid. Inclusion of GaM in culture medium or in mixed cultures of ruminal fluid resulted in a significant reduction in growth of Salmonella, suggesting that GaM may be effective for limiting growth and survival in vivo. Therefore, we subsequently administered two doses of GaM to Holstein steers, experimentally infected them with Salmonella, and quantitatively and qualitatively monitored fecal shedding at 12-h intervals. Sixty hours after beginning treatment, cattle were euthanized, and luminal contents and tissue were aseptically harvested from the rumen, jejunum, spiral colon, cecum, and rectum. The luminal contents were processed for quantitative and qualitative analysis of the challenge strains of Salmonella, and tissue samples were enriched and plated for qualitative analysis. We found no significant differences between control and treated animals in quantitative levels of Salmonella in the feces or the luminal contents. Likewise, we observed no pattern between control and treated animals in the frequency of positive or negative results from enriched feces, luminal contents, or tissue samples. These results suggest that GaM was not effective for reducing Salmonella in cattle.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agriculture Research Service, Southern Plains Agricultural Research Center, Food and Feed Safety Research Unit, 2881 F&B Road, College Station, Texas 77845, USA 2: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agriculture Research Service, Southern Plains Agricultural Research Center, Food and Feed Safety Research Unit, 2881 F&B Road, College Station, Texas 77845, USA. 3: Terrametrix, Menlo Park, California 94025, USA

Publication date: April 1, 2011

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