16. Traceback Diagram
The investigative team of agriculture and health department veterinarians provide the following information regarding the breeders, distributors and the particular animals that were owned by the human cases.
Veterinarians from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture were able to visit two of the implicated distributors. The Minnesota distributor had thoroughly cleaned and disinfected the facilities since the outbreak. The environmental samples were negative for Salmonella. At the Georgia facilities, environmental swabs yielded isolates that were indistinguishable from each other and closely related to the PFGE results from Sam, Melvin, and the Minnesota distributor. All of the isolates showed the same antibiotic resistant cassette (susceptibility profile).
The facilities had no standard cleaning or sanitation procedures. The managers claimed that it is hard to convince employees to thoroughly clean so many cages, primarily due to time constraints. However, you recall that laboratory animals destined for research laboratories can be maintained free of Salmonella without the need for antibiotic treatments.
You also find that at least one retail pet store has a corporate policy stating that their pocket pet providers cannot use antimicrobials in their animals. Despite this policy, they still purchased animals from several producers that routinely used antimicrobials. This particular chain reportedly told customers that the rodents they purchased were likely to have diarrhea when taken home, and that the customers should use spectinomycin to treat the animals at home.