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Theoretical value of pre-trade testing for Salmonella

Last changed: 18 April 2018

The Swedish Salmonella control programme includes mandatory action if Salmonella is detected in a herd. The aim of this study was to assess the relative value of different strategies for pre-movement testing of cattle.

Three fictitious herds were included: dairy, beef and specialised calf-fattening. The yearly risks of introducing Salmonella with and without individual serological or bulk milk testing were assessed as well as the effects of sourcing animals from low-prevalence areas or reducing the number of source herds.

The initial risk was highest for the calf-fattening herd and lowest for the beef herd. For the beef and dairy herds, the yearly risk of Salmonella introduction was reduced by about 75% with individual testing. Sourcing animals from low-prevalence areas reduced the risk by >99%. For the calf-fattening herd, the yearly risk was reduced by almost 50% by individual testing or sourcing animals from a maximum of five herds.

The method was useful for illustrating effects of risk mitigation when introducing animals into a herd. Sourcing animals from low-risk areas (or herds) is more effective than single testing of individual animals or bulk milk. A comprehensive approach to reduce the risk of introducing Salmonella from source herds is justified.

Link to the publication


Sternberg Lewerin, S., 2017. Theoretical value of pre-trade testing for Salmonella in Swedish cattle herds. Food Microbiology. Volume 71, May 2018, Pages 68-72


Susanna Sternberg Lewerin, Professor of epizootiology & disease control
Department of Biomedical Sciences and Veterinary Public Health, SLU
018-67 31 92