A One Health investigation of Salmonella enterica serovar Wangata in north-eastern New South Wales, Australia, 2016-2017

Epidemiol Infect. 2019 Jan:147:e150. doi: 10.1017/S0950268819000475.


Salmonella enterica serovar Wangata (S. Wangata) is an important cause of endemic salmonellosis in Australia, with human infections occurring from undefined sources. This investigation sought to examine possible environmental and zoonotic sources for human infections with S. Wangata in north-eastern New South Wales (NSW), Australia. The investigation adopted a One Health approach and was comprised of three complimentary components: a case-control study examining human risk factors; environmental and animal sampling; and genomic analysis of human, animal and environmental isolates. Forty-eight human S. Wangata cases were interviewed during a 6-month period from November 2016 to April 2017, together with 55 Salmonella Typhimurium (S. Typhimurium) controls and 130 neighbourhood controls. Indirect contact with bats/flying foxes (S. Typhimurium controls (adjusted odds ratio (aOR) 2.63, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.06-6.48)) (neighbourhood controls (aOR 8.33, 95% CI 2.58-26.83)), wild frogs (aOR 3.65, 95% CI 1.32-10.07) and wild birds (aOR 6.93, 95% CI 2.29-21.00) were statistically associated with illness in multivariable analyses. S. Wangata was detected in dog faeces, wildlife scats and a compost specimen collected from the outdoor environments of cases' residences. In addition, S. Wangata was detected in the faeces of wild birds and sea turtles in the investigation area. Genomic analysis revealed that S. Wangata isolates were relatively clonal. Our findings suggest that S. Wangata is present in the environment and may have a reservoir in wildlife populations in north-eastern NSW. Further investigation is required to better understand the occurrence of Salmonella in wildlife groups and to identify possible transmission pathways for human infections.

Keywords: One Health; outbreaks; salmonellosis; whole genome sequencing; zoonoses.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Animals
  • Animals, Domestic / microbiology
  • Animals, Wild / microbiology
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Disease Transmission, Infectious
  • Environmental Microbiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • New South Wales / epidemiology
  • One Health*
  • Risk Factors
  • Salmonella / classification*
  • Salmonella / isolation & purification*
  • Salmonella Infections / epidemiology*
  • Salmonella Infections / microbiology
  • Salmonella Infections / transmission*
  • Salmonella Infections, Animal / epidemiology*
  • Salmonella Infections, Animal / microbiology
  • Salmonella Infections, Animal / transmission*
  • Serogroup
  • Young Adult