Salmonella Diversity Associated With Wild Reptiles and Amphibians in Spain

Environ Microbiol. 2004 Aug;6(8):868-71. doi: 10.1111/j.1462-2920.2004.00631.x.


During the spring and summer of 2001, faeces from 166 wild reptiles (94 individuals) and amphibians (72 individuals) from 21 different species found in central Spain were examined for the presence of Salmonella. Thirty-nine reptiles (41.5%) yielded 48 Salmonella isolates, whereas all the amphibians examined were negative. Subspecies Salmonella enterica enterica (I) accounted for up to 50% of isolates. Fourteen isolates (29.2%) belonged to subspecies diarizonae (IIIb), six isolates (12.5%) to subspecies salamae (II), and four isolates (8.3%) to subspecies arizonae (IIIa). Twenty-seven different serotypes were identified. Serotypes Anatum (12.5%), Herzliya (8.3%), Abony, 18:l,v:z, 9,12:z29:1,5 and 38:z10:z53 (6.2%/each) were the most frequently isolated. A high percentage (39.6%) of isolates belonged to serotypes previously associated with environmental sources. Also, 37.5% of isolates belonged to serotypes which had been related to human cases of salmonellosis. From these data, it is concluded that wild reptiles, but apparently not amphibians, may represent an important reservoir of Salmonella in nature and have potential implications for public health.

MeSH terms

  • Amphibians / microbiology*
  • Animals
  • Disease Reservoirs*
  • Feces / microbiology
  • Genetic Variation*
  • Reptiles / microbiology*
  • Salmonella / classification*
  • Salmonella / isolation & purification*
  • Salmonella Infections, Animal / microbiology
  • Serotyping
  • Spain