Monday, August 10, 2015

Pseudomonas bacteria

These bacteria were found in very high numbers in the water from a client's sink faucet. This water was being used to mix milk replacer and to feed water to calves.

Calves were sick, some died. Why are these bacteria a problem? First, like all bacteria if we feed a large enough number to our calves they begin to engage the immune system. The immune system requires a lot of protein and energy that could go towards growth.

Many strains of Pseudomonas, in addition, are very efficient in producing deposits on our feeding equipment. Technically, this is called exopolysaccharide production. These deposits bond (note, I did not say "stick to" but rather bond) to all the surfaces. Once in place these biofilms provide a place for bacteria to attach and grow.

If an aggressive sanitation protocol is in place (for example a (1) rinse (2) wash (3) rinse (4) dry procedure) the opportunity for biofilm production is minimized. However, if lapses occur we can depend on Pseudomonas bacteria taking advantage of the opportunity to produce these nasty deposit that are really tough to remove. For example, rinsing only after afternoon feeding or only rinsing after weekend feedings. 

Thus, if an analysis of your water supply shows significant presence of this strain of bacteria special attention needs to be given to doing a good job of cleaning calf feeding equipment every time it is used including an acid rinse after washing. 

For a quick review of a cleaning protocol click HERE and a cleaning checklist click HERE.

No comments: