Absence of detectable salmonella cloacal shedding in free-living reptiles on admission to the wildlife center of Virginia

Jean M. Richards, Justin D. Brown, Terra R. Kelly, Andrea L. Fountain, Jonathan M. Sleeman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

36 Scopus citations

Abstract

Salmonellosis is an important reptile-associated zoonotic infection in the United States. Cloacal swabs were collected from reptiles admitted to the Wildlife Center of Virginia, Waynesboro, Virginia, cultured for Salmonella using Hektoen and xylose lysine deoxycholate agars, and inoculated in selenite broth. All three were incubated at 37°C for 18-24 hr. Seventy-five animals were included in the study, representing eight species, 34 eastern box turtles (Terrapene carolina carolina), 14 eastern painted turtles (Chrysemys picta picta), 14 snapping turtles (Chelydra serpentina), 6 black rat snakes (Elaphe obsoleta obsoleta), 2 redbelly turtles (Pseudemys rubriventris), 2 yellowbelly sliders (Trachemys scripta scripta), 2 eastern garter snakes (Thamnophis sirtalis sirtalis), and 1 eastern river cooler (Pseudemys concinna concinna). All cultures were negative for Salmonella spp., which is in contrast to the high prevalence of Salmonella cloacal shedding reported in captive reptiles but similar to previous reports in free-living North American reptiles. We recommend, nonetheless, practicing proper hygiene methods when handling and housing all reptiles.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)562-563
Number of pages2
JournalJournal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine
Volume35
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2004

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • veterinary(all)

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