The objective of this study was to compare antimicrobial susceptibility of Salmonella isolated from conventional and organic dairy farms in the Midwest and Northeast United States. Environmental and fecal samples were collected from organic (n = 26) and conventional (n = 69) farms in Michigan, Minnesota, New York, and Wisconsin every 2 mo from August 2000 to October 2001. Salmonella isolates (n = 1,243) were tested using a broth microdilution method for susceptibility to amoxicillin-clavulanic acid, ampicillin, ceftiofur, ceftriaxone, cephalothin, chloramphenicol, ciprofloxacin, gentamicin, kanamycin, nalidixic acid, streptomycin, sulfamethoxazole, tetracycline, and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole. Herd-level logistic regression and logistic proportional hazards multivariable models were used to examine the association between farm management type and susceptibility to antimicrobial agents. For most antimicrobial agents tested, susceptibility of Salmonella isolates was similar on organic and conventional herds when controlling for herd size and state. Conventional farms were more likely to have at least one Salmonella isolate resistant to streptomycin using logistic regression (odds ratio = 7.5; 95% confidence interval = 1.7-55.4). Conventional farms were more likely to have Salmonella isolates with greater resistance to streptomycin (odds ratio = 5.4; 95% confidence interval = 1.5-19.0) and sulfamethoxazole (odds ratio = 4.2; 95% confidence interval = 1.2-14.1) using logistic proportional hazards models. Although not statistically significant, conventional farms tended to be more likely to have at least one Salmonella isolate resistant to 5 or more antimicrobial agents when compared with organic farms.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by National Research Initiative Competitive (Epidemiological Approaches to Food Safety) Grant 99-35212-8563 from the USDA Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service. We thank the dairy farmers in the 4 states for their hard work on this study, and Amy Campbell and RoseAnn Miller for technical support.