Case report of a pustular dermatitis outbreak in sheep: Clinical and food safety considerations

  • Mariana Roccaro Department of Veterinary Medical Sciences, University of Bologna, Italy.
  • Silvia Piva | silvia.piva@unibo.it Department of Veterinary Medical Sciences, University of Bologna, Italy.
  • Alessandra Scagliarini Department of Veterinary Medical Sciences, University of Bologna, Italy.
  • Federica Giacometti Department of Veterinary Medical Sciences, University of Bologna, Italy.
  • Andrea Serraino Department of Veterinary Medical Sciences, University of Bologna, Italy.
  • Giuseppe Merialdi Experimental Institute for Zooprophylaxis in Lombardy and Emilia Romagna, Reggio Emilia, Italy.
  • Matteo Frasnelli Experimental Institute for Zooprophylaxis in Lombardy and Emilia Romagna, Reggio Emilia, Italy.
  • Angelo Romano Experimental Institute for Zooprophylaxis in Piedmont, Liguria and Valle D’Aosta, Turin, Italy.
  • Alberto Bellio Experimental Institute for Zooprophylaxis in Piedmont, Liguria and Valle D’Aosta, Turin, Italy.
  • Lucia Decastelli Experimental Institute for Zooprophylaxis in Piedmont, Liguria and Valle D’Aosta, Turin, Italy.
  • Angelo Peli Department of Veterinary Medical Sciences, University of Bologna, Italy.

Abstract

The objective of this report is to describe an outbreak of pustular dermatitis in a flock of about 200 sheep, its clinical evolution and food safety implications. The onset of the symptoms was sudden and the lesions spread very quickly from ewe to ewe, so that in about 3 days almost all of the lactating sheep were stricken. Pustules from 5 different animals, six milk samples, two cheese samples, teat cup samples from the milking machine and farmer’s hands were analysed. A pure culture of Staphylococcus aureus, producing staphylococcal enterotoxin (SE) C, was isolated from pustules. Milk and cheese showed a contamination by coagulase positive staphylococci <15 and 30 colony forming units respectively and the absence of SE. Farmer’s hands and teat cups samples resulted negative for coagulase positive staphylococci. Therapy with daily topical medicaments was prescribed and a prophylactic intervention was suggested by the administration of an autovaccine. The low level of milk and cheese contamination and the absence of SE in cheese supported the decision to not advise the farmer to recall cheese produced with milk from affected animals.

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Published
2018-04-11
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Original Articles
Keywords:
Pustular dermatitis, Sheep, Staphylococcus aureus, Staphylococcal enterotoxins, Raw milk cheese
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How to Cite
Roccaro, M., Piva, S., Scagliarini, A., Giacometti, F., Serraino, A., Merialdi, G., Frasnelli, M., Romano, A., Bellio, A., Decastelli, L., & Peli, A. (2018). Case report of a pustular dermatitis outbreak in sheep: Clinical and food safety considerations. Italian Journal of Food Safety, 7(1). https://doi.org/10.4081/ijfs.2018.6980

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