A fatal epizootic of salmonellosis occurred in farmed juvenile American alligators in Louisiana. Six animals were examined. Gross lesions included severe fibrinonecrotizing enterocolitis, necrotizing splenitis, coelomic effusion, and perivisceral and pulmonary edema. Microscopic examination revealed severe necrotizing enterocolitis and splenitis with intralesional bacteria and pneumocyte necrosis with fibrin thrombi. Salmonella enterica serovar Pomona was isolated from intestine and lung. Clinical salmonellosis is a rare finding in reptiles and salmonellosis caused by S. Pomona is not previously reported in American alligators. Since S. Pomona is a commonly isolated Salmonella serotype from patients with reptile-associated salmonellosis in the United States, and since alligator meat is consumed and the skin is exported to numerous countries, risk of human and animal infection should be considered.
Keywords: Alligator mississippiensis; American alligators; Salmonella enterica serovar Pomona; enteritis; intestinal diseases; salmonellosis; splenitis.