Clinical Trial

Study to determine shedding duration in horses that test culture positive for Salmonella

Department: Large Animal Internal Medicine Service


How long will my horse shed Salmonella?

Brandy A. Burgess, DVM, MSc, PhD, DACVIM, DACVPM
Clare Ryan, DVM, PhD, DACVIM
Erin M. Beasley, DVM, PhD

If interested, please call the Large Animal Teaching Hospital at 706-542-3223 and ask to leave a message for Lisa Reno, Clinical Trials Coordinator, or you may email her directly at

Study description: Salmonella enterica can be an important factor in epidemics of healthcare-associated disease in horse populations, particularly among patients at veterinary hospitals. There is very limited data on how long these horses will shed, directly impacting horse owners’ and managers’ ability to appropriately mitigate this risk. Salmonella shedding among hospitalized patients can be managed with increased infection control measures (i.e., segregation and/or barrier nursing precautions) within the hospital environment, but it becomes a challenge to continue these precautions in the home environment. The purpose of the study is to gain a better understanding of the factors associated with shedding duration among culture-positive horses, which will allow for improved management during hospitalization and recommendations for owners upon their animal returning to the resident farm from the hospital.

Horses of any age shedding Salmonella (clinically affected and sub-clinically affected) will be eligible to participate in the study. Study participants will be followed over time to determine duration of shedding based on serial aerobic fecal cultures. Owners will collect a fresh voided fecal sample (1 sample per horse per week for up to 8 weeks) using supplies provided in collection kits, and returned to UGA in pre-paid shippers for analysis.

Costs associated with the at-home sampling kits, shipment of samples to UGA, and subsequent analysis of the samples will be paid for by the study. Owners will be responsible for expenses pertaining to their horse’s diagnosis and treatment of Salmonella.

Duration of study: The study is currently OPEN.

Potential benefits to veterinary medicine: Results from this study will provide evidence-based risk management strategies for managing Salmonella positive horses in the hospital setting as well as on the home farm. These control measures are critical for the protection of the health of horses, as well as their owners.