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Home » Archive » 2010 » Presentations

Presentations

The isolation of Salmonella bacteria from turtles and tortoises living in captivity in Hungary
Kertész Eszter - year 5
SzIU, Faculty of Veterinary Science, Pathology and Forensic Veterinary Medicine Department
Supervisor: Gál János DVM

Abstract:

The Salmonella bacteria are Gram negative, facultative aerob bacteria that are widely spread. The Salmonellas in reptiles are 2-3 micrometer long, rod shaped enterobacteria with cilia.

The Salmonella species were first isolated from turtles in 1946. Nowadays the salmonellosis is the most common zoonosis spread by reptiles. The first turtle-associated zoonotic infection in humans was described in 1963. From that time a large number of research has been done to uncover the zoonotic nature of these bacteria. The endangered groups of humans are children under 10 years and immunosupressed people having AIDS or being treated with chemotherapy. The symptoms of human infection are abdominal pain, spasms, diarrhoea, nausea, vomitus and fever. In some complicated cases meningitis and cerebral abscesses occured in children, which had been caused by pets infected by Salmonella. That is why the United States applied some new regulations on the trade of turtles.

Our research is focused on the importance of salmonellosis of turtles in Hungary. We examined clinically healthy turtles and tortoises from ZOOs, pet-shops, private owners. The bacterial examinations were done on the basis of samples that had been taken by cotton swabs from the cloaca of the animals, and in some cases we used samples of faeces or water. In 2009 we had taken 38 samples, we spread them on Drigalski and blood agar, incubated at 37 °C for 24 hours. With this method we had not found any positive samples. In 2010 we have changed the cultivation method and we put the cotton swabs, water samples or the faeces to a peptone solution, incubated at 41 °C for 24 hours, than we spread it on MSRV substrate and incubated again for 24 hours. After the second incubation we spread the samples on Rambach substrate and incubated for the third time for another 24 hours. With this method we found 5 Salmonella positive samples out of 126 examined samples. These, after the serotypisation, turned out to be Salmonella enterica subsp. salamae, Salmonella enterica serovar Sandiego, S. Cubana és S. Agoueve serotypes. We are also conducting a research on other reptile species. By our preliminary results the occurance of Salmonellas in these clinically healthy animals is much higher than in turtles and tortoises.

On the basis of this research we can state that the salmonella infection of turtles in Hungary is much lower than it is written in foreign articles.



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