Salmonella colonization in commercial pet turtles (Pseudemys scripta elegans)

Epidemiol Infect. 1990 Oct;105(2):307-16. doi: 10.1017/s0950268800047907.


An epidemiological survey was conducted on two commercial turtle farms in southern Louisiana to determine the reason for an apparent increase in the prevalence of Salmonella spp. in turtle hatchlings at the time of pre-export certification examination. Pond water was consistently found to be contaminated (6/36 samples) with either Salmonella newport, S. arizonae, or S. poona. Environmental specimens obtained from eggs and turtle hatcheries (204 specimens) failed to yield Salmonella spp. A sample comprising 197 hatchlings, derived from a batch previously demonstrated to be contaminated, showed a salmonella prevalence of 12%, with S. arizonae and S. poona the only serotypes isolated. Four serotypes of Salmonella sp. isolated by a certifying laboratory in 1988, and 20 salmonella isolates obtained from hatchling turtles, were all resistant to gentamicin. The emergence of gentamicin resistance in Salmonella spp. isolated from turtles will reduce the effectiveness of preventive measures in use in Louisiana since 1984.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology
  • Drug Resistance, Microbial
  • Louisiana / epidemiology
  • Prevalence
  • Probability
  • Salmonella / drug effects
  • Salmonella / growth & development*
  • Salmonella / isolation & purification
  • Salmonella Infections, Animal / epidemiology
  • Salmonella Infections, Animal / microbiology*
  • Soil Microbiology
  • Turtles / microbiology*
  • Water Microbiology


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents