Managing the presence of Salmonella in ground beef has been an ongoing challenge for the beef industry. Salmonella prevalence can vary regionally, seasonally, and within the animal, making the development of interventions difficult. The objective of this study was to assess the efficacy of an autogenous Salmonella vaccine in mitigating Salmonella in lymph nodes (LNs) of feedlot cattle. An autogenous vaccine was developed using the most common Salmonella enterica serovars (Salmonella Kentucky, Salmonella Anatum, Salmonella Muenchen, Salmonella Montevideo, and Salmonella Mbandaka) identified from cattle managed at a South Texas feedlot with historically high Salmonella prevalence. Fifty-five heifers were selected for even distribution across five groups: (i) BASE, which received no autogenous vaccinations and were harvested after the stocker stage, (ii) CNTRL, which received no autogenous vaccinations, (iii) FARM, which received autogenous vaccinations at the ranch only, (iv) SPLIT, which received autogenous vaccinations at both the ranch and feedlot, and (v) YARD, which received vaccinations at the feedlot only. One heifer each from the BASE and CNTRL groups did not complete the study. All treatment groups except BASE were harvested after reaching market weight. Left and right superficial cervical and subiliac LNs from each carcass were collected and analyzed for Salmonella presence, and positive samples were serotyped. No salmonellae were recovered from LNs derived from BASE, FARM, SPLIT, or YARD groups. Cattle in the BASE group were expected to have a low occurrence of Salmonella based on previous research. However, the percentage of Salmonella-positive animals in the CNTRL group was 20.0% (2 of 10), which is lower than expected based on historical data from the same feeding location. There could be several causes of decreased Salmonella presence in the LNs of control cattle, creating an opportunity for future investigation into the development of preharvest interventions to combat Salmonella in feedlots.
An autogenous vaccine using five Salmonella serovars was developed.
No salmonellae were recovered from the lymph nodes (LNs) of vaccinated cattle.
Twenty percent of untreated experimental cattle had Salmonella-positive LNs.
Serovars recovered from control cattle differed from those used in the vaccine.
Untreated cattle housed adjacent to treated cattle had Salmonella-negative LNs.