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J Clin Microbiol. 1997 Nov;35(11):2786-90.

Human salmonellosis associated with exotic pets.

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  • 1National Laboratory for Enteric Pathogens, Laboratory Centre for Disease Control, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.


During the period from 1994 to 1996, an increase in the number of laboratory-confirmed cases of human salmonellosis associated with exposure to exotic pets including iguanas, pet turtles, sugar gliders, and hedgehogs was observed in Canada. Pet turtle-associated salmonellosis was recognized as a serious public health problem in the 1960s and 1970s, and in February 1975 legislation banning the importation of turtles into Canada was enacted by Agriculture Canada. Reptile-associated salmonellosis is once again being recognized as a resurgent disease. From 1993 to 1995, there were more than 20,000 laboratory-confirmed human cases of salmonellosis in Canada. The major source of Salmonella infection is food; however, an estimated 3 to 5% of all cases of salmonellosis in humans are associated with exposure to exotic pets. Among the isolates from these patients with salmonellosis, a variety of Salmonella serotypes were also associated with exotic pets and included the following: S. java, S. stanley, S. poona, S. jangwani, S. tilene, S. litchfield, S. manhattan, S. pomona, S. miami, S. rubislaw, S. marina subsp. IV, and S. wassenaar subsp. IV.

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