The objective of this 2-year field survey was to sample multiple ecological compartments within swine production systems to identify potential sources of Salmonella infection for swine. Twelve single-site production systems within Illinois were identified by slaughter sampling to have detectable Salmonella in swine and therefore selected for study. There were four visits to each farm during a 5-month period. Fecal samples were obtained from swine and other wild and domestic mammals. Arthropods and environmental samples of feed, water, pen floors, boots, and bird feces were also collected. All 8,066 samples obtained were cultured to detect Salmonella. Salmonella was detected on 11 of the 12 farms. There were 206 positive cultures, including samples from swine (83), pen floors (54), boots (32), flies (16), mice (9), cats (3), and birds (3). Swine shedding Salmonella in feces were detected on 9 of the 12 farms. The more Salmonella-abundant ecological compartments were cats (12% of samples positive), boots (11%), bird feces (8%), flies (6%), and mice (5%); 2.1% of 4,024 swine samples were positive. All 221 feed samples were negative for Salmonella. There was a correlation between a farm having a high prevalence of shedding Salmonella in pigs and a high abundance on pen floors, flies, and boots. The most common serotypes detected were Derby, Agona, Worthington, and Uganda, which were distributed throughout the ecosystem, suggesting widespread transmission across ecological compartments. The ubiquitous distribution of Salmonella suggests that an effective control strategy must target multiple compartments of the swine production ecosystem.

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Author notes

Present address: Department of Veterinary Pathobiology, University of Minnesota, 1971 Commonwealth Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55108, USA.

Present address: Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology, College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37901, USA.