Salmonella is a bacterium that’s one of the main causes of food-borne illnesses of all time.  Not only does salmonella affect humans, but it can infect animals too, and it’s quite common for people to report falling ill after handling livestock or pets.  Traditionally a salmonella test would take days before the results could be confirmed.  Today, with the vast improvements in technology that time’s been slashed to just 24 hours.

The new technique was originally developed to better automated food safety testing.  It was then redeveloped by Cornell scientists to be used in a wider capacity.  The researchers adapted it to cover a wider range of sample types including milk, blood, feces, and swabs.  “Because we have this 24-hour turnaround time with the new test, some veterinary hospitals and clinics can test and get results rapidly and make sure they are not exposing other animals to Salmonella,” said Belinda Thompson, senior author of the paper and assistant clinical professor at the Animal Health Diagnostic Center.  Being able to diagnose animals faster will allow vets to quarantine infected animals more quickly.

Salmonella Dublin is one strain of the bacteria and is “host adapted” in cattle.  This means that once infected; they can become long-term or permanent carriers of the bacteria putting the rest of the herd and their young ones at risk.  People that are exposed to infected animals can too become ill by drinking raw milk or consuming other contaminated products.  This strain of salmonella has a higher fatality rate than any other type.

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