You are here

Handling and Transport Stress Interactions with Pathogen Biology in Swine and Cattle

  1. Identify physiological, immunological, endocrinological and gastrointestinal-microbiological alterations which occur in infected livestock when subjected to common managerial stressors.
  2. Understand how handling and transportation stress influence livestock pathogens, such as, Salmonella and Campylobacter, which have the potential to detrimentally affect human health.
More Info:
We will subject livestock to both mixing and transportation and collect behavioral, physiologic, immunologic, endocrine, and bacterial data. The behavior data will include: agonistic encounters, loss of balance, vomiting, standing, lying, stereotypic behavior, and any other abnormal behaviors (i.e. shaking, jumping, etc).

The physiologic, immunologic, and endocrine data will include: heart rate, body temperature, cortisol, epinephrine, norepinephrine, dopamine, immune cell populations, interferon-gamma, interleukin-1, interleukin-12, haptoglobin, alpha 1- acid glycoprotien, and immunoglobulins. The bacterial data will include: DGGE pattern, total aerobes, anaerobes, Enterobacteriaceae counts, and the proportion of antimicrobial resistant Enterobacteriaceae in different compartments of the gastrointestinal tract and in mesenteric lymph nodes. Analysis of these collective data will allow for identification of key processes that create high pathogen loads at slaughter plants.

Our approach is a strategy that will 1) use a novel technique to monitor the progression of infection of stressed swine, 2) study the influence of mammalian stress hormones on bacteria, and 3) determine physiologically how a dietary supplement can impair bacterial infection. All three of these approaches will provide novel information on how stress influences bacterial pathogens.

Funding Source:
Start Date:
End Date:
Project Number:
Accession Number:
Eicher, Susan
Lay, Jr., Donald
Rostagno, Marcos
Published Journal Articles USDA ARS (NP 108):
Repeated mixing and isolation: Measuring chronic, intermittent stress in Holstein calves
Wilcox CS, Schutz MM, Rostagno MR, Lay DC Jr, Eicher SD.
J Dairy Sci. 2013 Nov;96(11):7223-33.
Food Safety Categories:
On-Farm Food Safety
Pathogen Biology
Farm-to-Table Categories:
On-farm food production
Food transport