Salmonellas were detected in the environment of 10 of the 12 calf dealers' premises studied. The cleaning and disinfection routines were often ineffective and salmonellas were isolated from 7·6 % and 5·3 % of the wall and floor samples before disinfection and 6·8% and 7·6% afterwards. Eight different salmonella serotypes were detected, of which the commonest were Salmonella typhimurium, predominantly phage type DT204C, and S. dublin. Plasmid profiles were used to fingerprint S. typhimurium DT204C and the results indicated that with the exception of one of the premises, prolonged salmonella-persistence in the environment was not occurring.
Three separate epidemics of salmonellosis in calves were studied by use of plasmid profile analysis. The results illustrated the role of dealers, and their subcontractors, in the dissemination of salmonellas. The study concludes with suggestions for methods to reduce the spread of salmonellas in the calf marketing chain.